Help to Buy behind one in five new homes sales

Help to Buy behind one in five new home salesPic: Getty

Getting a first step on the property ladder has been a pipe dream for many in recent years, but a new report has revealed that the Help to Buy Scheme has enabled first-time buyers to move into their first home.

The Government scheme, which was due to end in 2016 but has now been extended to 2020, accounted for one in five new homes sold in the UK, with first-time buyers the highest proportion of those taking advantage of the low deposit scheme.

According to property services website Countrywide, which put together the report, buyers in areas such as the North East,that have seen the smallest price rises, gained the most from the loan scheme, with one in three new builds sold via Help to Buy.

In London, on the other hand, where the average house price has soared in recent months, just one in nine buyers used the scheme.

Critics have suggested that the scheme, which offers an interest-free, five-year government loan to boost buyers with a five per cent deposit to 20 per cent, could result in a housing bubble, with borrowers taking on more than they can afford.

But Countryside chief executive Grenville Turner insists the figures prove otherwise. "Claims that the Help to Buy Scheme is causing a housing bubble are far from the truth and the facts speak for themselves," he told the Daily Mail.

"As a proportion of transactions both parts of Help to Buy together support only two per cent of transactions in London compared with 10 per cent in the North West, where support is most needed."

Mr Turner added: "The extending of the equity loan guarantee allows developers to plan with some certainty that demand will continue to exist in 12 months' time, and goes some way to bridging the increasing gap between new supply and demand for property in the UK."

Have you taken advantage of the Help to Buy Scheme? Do you believe it encourages buyers to borrow more than they can afford? Leave your comments below...