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Government 'Help to Buy' scheme most popular across London and the south-east

Posted by Hannah Walker in

Since the scheme began in October 2013, 'Help to Buy' has been utilised by more than 48,000 home buyers. The scheme allows buyers to take out an interest-free loan on a new build home and has a mortgage guarantee that permits buying a home with just a 5% deposit. Figures reveal that a total of 10,338 buyers across London and the south-east have taken advantage of the scheme, making it most popular in this region. Chancellor, George Osborne stated that, "'Help to Buy' is working exactly as we intended. It's helping first-time buyers on to the housing ladder. It's a key part of our long-term economic plan ["¦] Importantly, 'Help to Buy' is also driving a big increase in house building in Britain, boosting the construction industry and increasing housing supply."

However, critics have concerns that the scheme would increase prices in London and the south-east unless there is growth in the supply of houses. Furthermore, the mortgage guarantee has provoked controversy over the government's scheme as it permits buyers to increase their deposit by using the government loan and allows buyers to overcome certain mortgage constraints. In addition, the scheme can be utilised by anyone across the UK regardless of their income, resulting in certain buyers taking advantage of the scheme to buy properties valued at over £500,000. Interestingly, recent data provoked speculation that the scheme has in fact now peaked. The number of homebuyers using the mortgage guarantee part of the scheme decreased across June this year, compared to numbers from May. Further to that, the Mortgage Advice Bureau reported that the average 'Help to Buy' loan is £6,000 - lower than the average in May.

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