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Over 17,000 homes bought under Help to Buy scheme

More than 17,000 homes have been bought under the Government's Help to Buy scheme, according to the latest official figures.

David Cameron says the Help to Buy scheme will give thousands independence and security Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The vast majority (80%) have been bought by first time buyers, while 77% have been purchased outside of London and the South East.

The figures were released today by Downing Street, just days after George Osborne announced it was to be extended until 2020 with a £6 billion boost in the budget to help an estimated 120,000 more households purchase a new-build home.

Almost half of Brits 'agree Help to Buy is a success'

Almost half of Britons believe the Government's Help to Buy scheme has been successful in helping people buy homes who previously could not afford it, the ITV News Index poll suggests.

According to the results:

  • 47% agree the scheme has been successful
  • 15% disagree
  • 39% said they did not know

However, 41% believe the scheme is contributing to the increase in house prices.

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Balls: Lack of affordable housing 'real risk for economy'

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said the the lack of affordable housing was a "real risk for our economy"

The low interest rates we need to strengthen growth and business investment are under threat if we do not have a balanced housing market recovery.

The lack of funding for affordable housing, alongside a housing market that has been very slow to respond to rising demand, means there is a real risk for our economy.

– Shadow chancellor Ed Balls

Mr Balls also called for an emergency "help to build" scheme, underpinned by new government guarantees, to support the building of a further 10,000 houses this year.

Balls: Cut back Help to Buy amid interest rate fears

The Government's programme of taxpayer-funded support for first-time home buyers should be cut back amid fears rising house prices could push up interest rates, shadow chancellor Ed Balls has said.

Ed Miliband (left), Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls (right) and Shadow Secretary for Work and Pensions Rachel Reeves. Credit: ustin Tallis/PA Wire/Press Association Images

In an interview with The Guardian, Mr Balls said the unbalanced nature of the housing market risked choking off Britain's economic recovery.

He called on Chancellor George Osborne to reduce the maximum size of a mortgage that qualifies for support under the Help to Buy scheme from £600,000 to £400,000 - with regional caps to reflect the vastly higher prices in London and the South East.

Ed Balls calls for cuts to Help To Buy scheme

Ed Balls also called for an emergency "help to build" scheme. Credit: PA

The Government's programme of taxpayer-funded support for first-time home buyers should be cut back, amid fears rising house prices could push up interest rates, shadow chancellor Ed Balls has said.

In an interview with The Guardian, Mr Balls said the unbalanced nature of the housing market risked choking off Britain's economic recovery.

He called on Chancellor George Osborne to reduce the maximum size of a mortgage that qualifies for support under the Help To Buy scheme from £600,000 to £400,000 - with regional caps to reflect the vastly higher prices in London and the South East.

"The low interest rates we need to strengthen growth and business investment are under threat if we do not have a balanced housing market recovery," he said.

Home buyers using Help to Buy scheme near 13,000

Almost 13,000 home buyers have used the first phase of the Government's Help to Buy scheme to purchase a new-build home in the scheme's first nine months, according to government figures.

Estate Agent's boards
Estate Agent's boards as lenders expect a significant further increase in mortgage availability Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) showed there have been 12,875 sales of newly-built properties through the Help to Buy equity loan scheme in England since its launch, with a further 6,446 sales in the pipeline.

The Government said the equity loan scheme, which helps first-time buyers and home movers to buy a newly-built home with a deposit of at least 5% of the property price, while the Government offers a loan of up to 20%, had created 46 new home owners every day since its launch.

A second phase of Help to Buy, covering the whole of the UK, was launched in October and offers state-backed mortgages to people with 5% deposits who want to buy a new-build or an existing home.

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Labour: Housing supply must match rising demand

Rising demand for housing must be matched with an increase in house-building, Labour has warned.

Around 6,000 people have now put offers in on homes and applied for mortgages thanks to the Help to Buy scheme, according to the Government.

Shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds said:

Any help for first-time buyers struggling to get on the property ladder is to be welcomed.

But rising demand for housing must be matched with rising supply if this scheme is to bring the cost of housing within the reach of low and middle income earners.

Instead, under this Government, house-building is at its lowest level since the 1920s.

You can't deal with the cost-of-living crisis without building more homes. That's why Labour has committed to building 200,000 homes a year by 2020.

Help to Buy scheme set to expand further

More than 6,000 people have put offers in on homes and applied for mortgages thanks to the Help to Buy scheme. Credit: PA Wire

Two thirds of the entire UK mortgage market will soon offer products under the Government's Help to Buy scheme.

Barclays and Santander will introduce their own Help to Buy products onto the market this month, joining Lloyds Banking Group, RBS, HSBC, Virgin Money and Aldermore who have all launched products over the last three months.

House building is growing at its fastest rate since 2008 as the Government seeks to bring home ownership to an increasing number of people.

Read: More than 6,000 benefit from Help to Buy scheme

David Cameron hails effect of Help to Buy scheme

David Cameron has hailed the effect of the Help to Buy scheme after new figures revealed that around 6,000 people had put in offers on homes as a result of the policy.

"The new year is often a time when people look to make those big life-changing decisions like moving home or taking that first step on the housing ladder," the Prime Minister said.

Nearly 750 homeowners have completed their purchases since the scheme was opened less than three months ago. Credit: PA Wire

"But too many people have found themselves frozen out of the market in recent years as a result of the size of the deposit required.

"That is why as part of our long-term economic plan we introduced the Help to Buy scheme, so hardworking people with sufficient earnings can get on, fulfil their aspirations and enjoy the security of owning their own home.

"In less than three months, the scheme has already helped thousands of people. I want to see that continue in 2014 and for Help to Buy to help thousands more realise their dream of home ownership."

Read: More than 6,000 benefit from Help to Buy scheme

More than 6,000 benefit from Help to Buy scheme

More than 6,000 people have put offers in on homes and applied for mortgages thanks to the Help to Buy scheme, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced.

Nearly 750 homeowners have completed their purchases since the scheme was opened less than three months ago, with hundreds able to spend Christmas in their new homes.

Help to Buy is intended to help first time home buyers get on the housing ladder with deposits from as little as five per cent. Credit: PA Wire

In November, ministers published figures showing that in the first month after being launched more than 2,000 people had put in offers on homes and applied for a Help to Buy mortgage, and that figure has now trebled.

The mortgages, once approved, would represent nearly £1 billion of new lending to home owners.

Read: A guide to the Government's Help to Buy scheme

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