The second part of the government's controversial Help to Buy scheme has backed pounds 1bn of mortgages in its first six months, with 80% going to first-time buyers, according to official figures.
The scheme to make home loans more easily available to buyers with deposits as low as 5% has guaranteed 7,313 home loans, most at the lower end and outside the pressure cooker markets of the south-east, the Treasury said yesterday.
The proportion of Help to Buy mortgages granted in the north-west of
Despite property worth up to pounds 600,000 being eligible for the scheme, the average value was pounds 151,597, well below the overall average house price of pounds 252,000 recorded by the
The second part of Help to Buy, which was rushed forward to
It has been criticised by some experts for stoking demand for homes without addressing the chronic shortage of supply, and there have been calls for it to be withdrawn or limited, particularly in the south-east where annual price rises have been in double digits.
But Treasury figures reveal only 5% of Help to Buy mortgages were taken out in
The same proportion of loans was taken out in the north-west of
Only 31 of the loans guaranteed in the six months were on property valued at more than pounds 500,000. There were 189 mortgages on properties worth pounds 350,000 or more.
"Help to Buy has helped thousands of hardworking people to buy a new home and crucially it is helping to increase the number of new homes being built around the country."
But Grainia Long, chief executive of the
"The median household income for borrowers using the mortgage guarantees was pounds 42,597 - almost exactly the same as the median household income across the market for people buying a house with a mortgage (pounds 42,731)," she said.
"This suggests that it could be helping people who would most likely have been able to secure a mortgage anyway, rather than people on lower incomes."
The CML's director general,
Separately, the property firm Hometrack said its monthly house price survey showed signs of a slowdown.
The research, based on information from estate agents and surveyors across
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