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First-time buyers net £320m Help to Buy ISA bonuses

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
The popularity of the Help to Buy ISA is clear as statistics reveal almost 260,000 properties have been bought through the scheme. But there are only two days left to sign up.

Since the launch of the Help to Buy ISA in December 2015, 256,564 properties have been bought with nearly 340,000 bonuses being paid. In total, the government has stumped up £320m in bonuses which have been used to buy £44.5bn worth of properties.

But for prospective first-time buyers, there are now just two days left to open the government savings account.

If you open one before the scheme closes on 30 November, you can continue contributions until 30 November 2029. You’ll be eligible for the government bonus as long as you buy a property before December 2030.

With a Help to Buy ISA, you can save up to £1,200 in the first month and then up to £200 a month after that. The state will then add a 25 per cent bonus on top of what you save. So, for every £200 you save, the government will contribute £50.

In the four years since it launched, the highest number of property completions have been in the North West and Yorkshire and The Humber. The average value of a property purchased stands at £173,573 compared to an average first-time buyer house price of £193,701.

Buyers under the scheme average the age of 28, compared with the national average age of first-time buyers standing at 30. However, the statistics reveal that eight bonuses have been paid to buyers under the age of 18 while 40 bonuses have also been paid to first-time buyers aged 65+.

Laura Suter, personal finance analyst at investment platform AJ Bell, said: “There will no doubt have been a rush of people opening Help to Buy ISAs ahead of the deadline to scrap it on 30 November.

“But the Lifetime ISA will fill its place, allowing a higher limit on property prices outside London, a larger potential Government bonus and the ability to save in both lump sums and monthly.”

See’s Where to find the best Help to Buy ISA rates and our guide on the Lifetime ISA.

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