27,222 homes sold with backing of Help to Buy Isa

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More than 27,000 homes have been bought with the support of Help to Buy Isas, Government figures show.

Since the Isas were launched on December 1 2015, and up to September 30 2016, some 27,222 property completions have been supported by the scheme, according to the Treasury.

The accounts have previously been described by experts as a "no-brainer" for those trying to save up for their first home.

Help to Buy Isas allow people to save for their first home with the help of a Government bonus, the size of which depends on how much the saver puts in. The maximum bonus is £3,000 and to receive that, someone will need to have saved £12,000.

The Treasury's figures show that more than £20 million of bonuses have been paid out so far - and the average bonus value is £530.

The average age of first-time buyers using the scheme is 27, and 70% of first-time buyers supported by the scheme so far were between the ages of 25 and 34.

The figures also show that six property completions under the scheme have involved buyers aged 65-plus and 88 have involved buyers aged between 50 and 64 years old.

The highest proportion of property completions with the support of the Isa, which is available across the UK, are in the North West of England, Yorkshire and the Humber and the South West of England.

The Treasury also released figures showing that, overall, more than 220,000 people have been able to buy a home using various schemes that run under Help to Buy, and over 180,000 first-time buyer households are now on the housing ladder after using such a scheme.

The average price of a home being bought across the schemes is £191,000.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said: "Our Help to Buy schemes are helping hundreds of thousands of people, especially first-time buyers, achieve home ownership."

As previously announced by the Government, the mortgage guarantee scheme offered under Help to Buy will end on December 31, as a wide range of low deposit mortgage products are now available from commercial lenders.

Treasury documents released alongside the Autumn Statement showed take-up of Help to Buy Isas had been lower than expected, and around half of that assumed in original costings.

Danny Cox, a chartered financial planner at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "Help to Buy Isa is helping to support younger home buyers and push down the average age at which people first step onto the property ladder."