Help to Buy has boosted housing market confidence, says Government

82% of owners who bought with Help to Buy were only able to because of the scheme


A Government report on the Help to Buy housing scheme has found little evidence that it has pushed up housing prices.

The Department for Communities and Local Government review said the equity loan scheme has boosted market confidence among consumers, developers and lenders.

But Labour said the Government initiative has only offered a "modest boost" to the housing market and the number of home-owners has been in "free fall" since 2010.

The report said 82% of owners who bought under Help to Buy were only able to join the housing market because of the scheme, while 43% of Help to Buy homes would otherwise not have been built.

Housing minister Brandon Lewis said: "Anyone who works hard and aspires to own their own home should have the opportunity to do so and this report shows how the Government's Help to Buy scheme continues to turn those dreams into a reality."

John Healey, shadow cabinet minister for housing and planning, said many young people continue to struggle to become home owners.

"This research confirms that the average Help to Buy applicant earns almost £50,000," he said.

"Meanwhile home-ownership is increasingly out of reach for young people on low and middle incomes."

The scheme, launched in 2013, offers loans to potential home owners who can afford to pay a mortgage but struggle to save a deposit.

The report comes as the Liberal Democrats announced they would attempt to strike out another of the Government's key housing policies.

The party wants to axe the Pay to Stay scheme from the Housing and Planning Bill when it returns to the House of Lords next month.

Pay to Stay will see families or individuals in social housing with a total income of £40,000 a year in London, and £30,000 outside the capital, forced to pay the rental market rate.

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