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Record number of homes bought via Help to Buy ISA scheme

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
June saw a record number of bonuses paid out and property completions through the government’s flagship Help to Buy ISA scheme.

In June there were 10,899 bonuses paid out and 8,330 property completions were recorded, HM Revenue & Customs figures reveal.

In total, since the H2B ISA scheme was introduced in December 2015, more than 113,868 bonuses have been paid out, totalling £77m with an average value of £678. Plus 83,686 property completions have taken place. The scheme, aimed at first time buyers, gives a 25% government boost to savings of up to £12,000.

The figures also reveal that properties bought under the first-time buyer scheme are cheaper than the national average – £170,862 compared to £189,000.

Two thirds of the buyers are aged 25-34 and the median age is 27, again lower than the national average of 30.

The highest proportion of property completions were in the North West, Yorkshire, The Humber and West Midlands, while the lowest recorded in the North East and Northern Ireland.

June topped off the busiest quarter for the scheme so far, when 21,577 property sales were completed with the help of a Help to Buy ISA between April and June.

Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “As time goes on, and funds build up in these ISAs, we are seeing more and more people able to buy a home with the help of the scheme: June saw a record number of completions using funds from Help to Buy ISAs.

“However, if you’re really serious about owning a property of your own home, it’s worth being aware that the Help to Buy ISA isn’t the only show in town. The launch of the Lifetime ISA in April this year provides an alternative with a number of extra benefits. It means that if you’re going to improve your chances of getting onto the housing ladder more quickly, Help to Buy ISA savers should weigh up the advantages of a switch.

“The LISA allows you to save more and get a bigger bonus more quickly. It also offers more flexibility over how you save, what you invest in, and how you use the money: so unless you plan to buy your property within the next 12 months, a transfer for most makes a lot of sense.”

See’s First-time buyer: Should I transfer my Help to Buy ISA to the Lifetime ISA? for more information.

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