The total value of Help to Buy equity loans from the government has exceeded £10bn for the first time, according to official figures released this morning. The £10.7bn reached in Q3 2018 is almost as much as the entire police budget for England and Wales in 2018/19, which stood at £12.3bn.
Joseph Daniels, founder of modular housebuilder Project Etopia, said: “Help to Buy has been a staggeringly popular initiative, crashing through this colossal milestone in only five years. The scheme has come under fire for allegedly inflating property prices but the government has already called a halt to the scheme, announcing in October that it will end for all but first-time buyers from 2021. There will also be regional price caps from 2021 that will take some of the heat out of those markets before Help to Buy finally closes in 2023.
“Critics will naturally turn to the question of how many houses this sum of money could have created. There are arguments on both sides but it’s accurate to say that, with the latest average house price in England being £247,886, the total committed to Help to Buy so far would pay for more than 43,022 of these homes at full market value, which in reality would go a lot further if spent on building new stock from scratch.”