Equity Loan Scheme surges in popularity

The average percentage of homes bought using the government-led scheme has increased to 41%, up from 28.3% in the first quarter of the year, according to the latest research by Linden Homes.

The data from Linden Homes’ Help to Buy Barometer, which tracks all Help to Buy activity across its developments throughout the country shows the average percentage of regional Help to Buy purchases has substantially increased.

Interestingly, the average price of homes purchased with the scheme has also increased from £249,855 last quarter to £328,249 in the period July to September.

“Last quarter the average house price for Help to Buy dropped – reflecting the trend for first time buyers using the scheme,” said Tom Nicholson, Divisional Chairman, East at Linden Homes. “Interestingly, this quarter shows the average Help to Buy house price has gone up. This may well reflect a new trend of existing home owners choosing Help to Buy to assist them as they move up the ladder and using the government funds to do so.”

Traditionally the preserve of first time buyers, existing owners are now increasingly accessing the government-led scheme to buy new build property. Linden Homes’ fourth report on Help to Buy shows that while first time buyers still dominate the statistics, the scheme may now be attracting more existing home owners too.

However, 70% of Linden Homes’ customers who used Help to buy in the last quarter were first time buyers. In the South East region which covers London and Greater London, all of the Help to Buy customers were first time buyers and in the Chiltern division, 87% were first time buyers.

The most popular Help to Buy developments were Edge in Harlow, Essex, which accounted for 70% of the Eastern region’s total Help to Buy sales and Nash Mills Wharf in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire which accounted for 54% of Linden Homes Chiltern’s total Help to Buy transactions.

“Our regular study into Help to Buy shows there is consistent enthusiasm for this scheme – particularly amongst first time buyers,” said Nicholson. “It also shows where the scheme is really having an impact – and the pattern is quite consistent across the year so far.”

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