Over 7,000 mortgages secured through Help to Buy
The government's flagship mortgage guarantee scheme, Help to Buy, has helped a number of people, particularly first-time buyers, acquire property, but suggestions that the initiative is helping to fuel a property bubble appear to be wide of the mark.
The government started providing guarantees for mortgages worth up to 95% of the value of a property in October in an effort to help people get a foot on the housing ladder. Since then, property prices have soared, posting double-digit rises in some parts of the country over the past 12 months.
Official data released by the government show that 7,313 mortgages were taken out through the scheme in its first six months to March, but this accounted for just 1.3% of all mortgages issued during the period. Some 88% of the home loans went to first-time buyers, the scheme's target market.
"Help to Buy has been a success and house prices are still in real terms 13% below the peak they reached in 2007," Prime Minister David Cameron said. "This is a successful policy helping people get on the housing ladder."
The value of mortgages supported by the scheme totalled just over £1bn through to the end of March, the figures show.