Help to buy equity loan: How much has it helped home buyers in North Herts?

Holding house keys on house shaped keychain concept for buying a new home

Holding house keys on house shaped keychain concept for buying a new home - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Home buyers in North Hertfordshire receive an average of £54,000 in support from the government under Help to Buy, new figures show.

But housing charity Shelter says the scheme only helps a small minority, with most renters still unable to save the minimum deposit they need to benefit from it.

The latest treasury data shows that 16 houses in North Herts were purchased under the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme between January and March 2019 - four more than in the same period a year ago.

Of those, 94 per cent were bought by first time buyers, compared to an average of 84 per cent in England.

The scheme aims to help people buy their first new build house, which cannot cost more than £600,000 or be bought to let.

The government lends up to 20 per cent of the cost of the property - 40 per cent in London - so buyers only need a 5 per cent deposit and 75 per cent mortgage to buy it.

That means buyers can get a loan of up to £120,000 from the government, or £240,000 for properties in London.

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The Treasury estimates buyers in North Herts took out £866,200 in loans in the first three months of 2019 - averaging £54,138 each.

Polly Neate, chief executive at Shelter, said: "Help to Buy is a scheme that has inflated house prices and boosted big developers' profit margins, while doing next-to-nothing to help those at the sharp end of the housing emergency.

"For the many millions of people who don't have a stable or truly-affordable home and who can't access products like Help to Buy, there's only one solution - and that's to build a new generation of social housing.

"To solve our worsening housing crisis, the government should invest in a major housebuilding programme to deliver 3 million new homes over the next 20 years."

Nationally, first-time buyers received £71,615 on average under Help to Buy from the Government to acquire their properties.

Since the scheme started in 2013, 279 houses were purchased under Help to Buy in North Hertfordshire.