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ARCHIVED ARTICLE This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.


Lieke Braadbaart

Online Writer
Published: 16/08/2018

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.


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