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Sat September 22 2018

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House-builders lobby to save Help to Buy

6 Sep Lobbyists for the house-building industry, keen to ensure the government maintains its Help to Buy initiative, have produced a report highlighting the benefits of the equity loan scheme.

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) report asserts that Help to Buy has achieved all the targets specified at launch – increasing home ownership, increasing housing supply and generating economic activity.

The government is considering the merits of continuing the scheme. House-builders want it to stay.

The HBF report points out that 170,000 homes were purchased through the scheme between April 2013, when the scheme began, and March 2018. Of these more than 80% were bought by first time buyers.

Since Help to Buy launched, housing supply has increased by 74%.

The value of the government’s Help to Buy equity loan book has also increased. The report estimates that the £8.9bn invested by the Treasury over the first five years of the scheme could now be worth £9.8bn, an uplift of 10.5%.

HBF chairman Stewart Baseley said: “It is quite clear that the Help to Buy scheme has been an unmitigated success and has delivered handsomely on all its objectives. It has enabled hundreds of thousands of people to realise their dream of owning a home, the vast majority of whom are first time buyers on average incomes. It has led to an unprecedented increase in house building activity, created tens of thousands of jobs and boosted local economies the length and breadth of the country.

“Government should celebrate its success and use the hard evidence now available to rebut the claims of its critics. As we look to tackle our acute housing crisis and deliver on the prime minister’s target to build 300,000 homes per year the scheme has a key part to play. Government should reflect on the huge impact the scheme is having on individuals keen to realise their dreams of home ownership, on housing supply and on the wider economy.

”Housebuilders continue to invest in the land, materials and people needed to deliver furthers increases in supply confident in the demand Help to Buy is underpinning. Certainty moving forward is now required to enable the increases in housing supply, and the associated social and economic benefits, to continue.”

MPU

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