Countrywide: Help to Buy supports new homes sales in struggling markets
Wide regional differences between London and the rest of the country have been highlighted, as far as take up of the Help to Buy equity loan scheme is concerned.
Fresh figures released by Countrywide show that while the Help to Buy equity loan scheme has been responsible for close to a third - 28% - of all new homes sales in the North East since the initiative was introduced last year, it has only helped buyers to acquire 9% of all new-build homes in London.
The equity loan element of the initiative, which was initially launched in England in April 2013, and later in Scotland and Wales, enables purchasers to put down a deposit of just 5% to buy a new-build property, as it allows them take out a mortgage of up to 75% of the property's value. The difference is made up with an equity loan of up to 20% from the government.
According to Countrywide, a total of 14,823 new homes have been bought, primarily by first-time buyers, through the scheme since it was introduced ten months ago. A further 4,666 new homes have been reserved.
The data reveals that 19% of all private dwellings built in England, on average, have been sold through the scheme. But Countrywide said that the figure rises to as high a 50% in some of the more depressed housing market areas of the country.
"Claims that the Help to Buy Scheme is causing a housing bubble are far from the truth and the facts speak for themselves," said Grenville Turner, chief executive of Countrywide plc. "As a proportion of transactions both parts of Help to Buy together support only 2% of transactions in London compared with 10% in the North West, where support is most needed."