Help to Buy off to a flying start

Less than 3 months on from the start of the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme, over 6,000 people have put in offers on a home and applied for a mortgage, Prime Minister David Cameron announced.

In November, ministers published figures showing that in the first month of the scheme more than 2,000 people had put in offers on homes and applied for a Help to Buy mortgage. That number has now trebled to more than 6,000.

The mortgages, once approved, would represent nearly £1 billion of new lending to aspiring home owners who may have previously found the property market out-of-reach because of the size of deposit required.

As part of the long-term economic plan to build a stronger, more competitive economy to secure a better future for Britain, the government is committed to increasing the supply of housing and supporting those who aspire to own their own home.

In just 12 weeks since the scheme launched, nearly 750 homeowners have completed their purchases and hundreds were able to spend Christmas in their new homes.

Barclays and Santander will introduce their own Help to Buy products onto the market this month (January), joining Lloyds Banking Group, RBS, HSBC, Virgin Money and Aldermore who have all launched products over the last 3 months, providing a wide range of options for first time buyers and other potential applicants in 2014.

The expansion will mean two-thirds of the entire UK mortgage market will offer products under the Help to Buy scheme, bringing home ownership to a growing number of people.

New figures also show that an additional 20,000 households have also been supported by the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme, a separate scheme where the government provides an interest-free loan to support the purchase of the newly built home.

House building is now growing at its fastest rate since 2008, and it is clear house building will remain a critical part of our economic recovery.

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