Since the Help to Buy ISA was launched in December of 2015, 196,007 bonuses have been paid to help buyers take that all-important first step onto the property ladder. With the Government scheme due to close at the end of next year, now might be a good time for first-time buyers to get on board, especially as a few market-beating returns are available.
The official Government statistics, which have looked at the period until March 2018, furthermore show that £10 million in bonuses was paid out in March, up from £8 million in February and resulting in a grand total of £157 million across the lifetime of this Help to Buy scheme. As a result, the average bonus amount per person stood at £800.
The properties that were bought with the help of these bonuses have thus far had an average value of £172,448, which is a little lower than the average first-time buyer price of £188,429 including those that didn't use the Help to Buy ISA, and naturally quite a bit below the average overall UK house price of £224,144. That said, 7% of completions that made use of the ISA scheme were for properties worth £250,000 or more, so first-time buyers looking for a property in London (for which the scheme allows a higher property value limit) shouldn't dismiss it out of hand either.
Indeed, the Help to Buy ISA is open to any UK resident who does not already own a property, with buyers outside the capital able to use it to fund the purchase of any property worth up to £250,000, as long as it comes with a mortgage and they're not planning to rent it out. It offers a bonus of 25% on your savings, up to an extra £12,000, and couples planning to buy a house together are able to open one Help to Buy ISA each, meaning potentially an extra £24,000 towards that first deposit.
It seems to be helping people get on the property ladder sooner as well, with a median age of 27 among first-time buyers who've used the scheme, compared to a national median age of 30 in general. Savvy deposit savers may therefore want to take a look at the Help to Buy ISA chart.
Have you already saved enough for a deposit? Don't forget to compare first-time buyer mortgages (or look at the general mortgage charts if you have more than a 5% deposit) to try and find the most cost-effective deal that suits you.
Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.