Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme to close, says Hammond

PA

Philip Hammond has confirmed the Government is closing its Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme in the latest of George Osborne's flagship policies to be abandoned by the new administration.

In a letter to Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, the Chancellor said the scheme was "introduced with a specific purpose that has now been successfully achieved" and it will now be dropped.

Mr Hammond said the scheme will close to new loans at the end of 2016.

Launched in the autumn of 2013, it was described by the then government as a "landmark" scheme that would get thousands of Britons on the housing ladder.

It meant that buyers only needed to find a deposit of 5% of the value of their home, with a mortgage covering the remaining 95%.

New figures reveal that more than 185,000 people brought homes through the scheme, including 150,000 first time buyers.