Help to Buy MIG gets 2000 offers

More than three quarters of the applicants are first-time buyers, many in their early thirties and on average households have asked to borrow £155,000 for houses worth £163,000.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Four weeks in and it’s clear that Help to Buy is already delivering. In just one month over 2,000 people have been accepted for a Help to Buy mortgage.

“Or put another way 75 families every single day have been put on the path to owning their dream home.”

Writing in the Sun today, Cameron said the best thing about Help to Buy was not the headline statistics but who was benefitting from them.

"When we launched Help to Buy we heard a lot of scare stories about how this would be a policy for the rich, the South East, the elderly and those who already homes," he said.

"One month in and the figures show this is nonsense. The typical house bought with Help to Buy is just over £160,000 - well below the national average. It's proving hugely popular across the country with three quarters of applications outside London and the South East."

Cameron said the scheme was all about helping hardworking people get on the first rung of the property ladder - and helping them get on in life.

He added: “Owning a home is about more than four walls to sleep at night. It’s about independence, self-reliance, moving on and moving up. Above all it’s about aspiration.

“Help to Buy is helping people realise the dream of home ownership - and it’s a key part of my plan for Britain.”

Applicants will face average monthly repayments of around £900 and have an annual household income of around £45,000. This means a Help to Buy mortgage represents 24% of borrowers’ gross income which compares to the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ average figure of 24% across the UK.

A 2-year fixed rate 95% mortgage for the average house under Help to Buy is also £2,557 cheaper per year compared to the equivalent mortgage from 2007.

The banks have received applications from across the country with more than three quarters coming from outside London and the South East.

Almost 65% of the UK mortgage market has now signed up to Help to Buy and more mortgage products from HSBC, Barclays, Santander, Virgin Money and Aldermore will be released in the coming months.

The government’s Help to Buy equity loan scheme launched earlier this year has had an impact on house building and has allowed more than 42,000 people to buy newly built homes.

Housing starts are now a third higher than at the same time last year.

In his article in the Sun Cameron criticised the Labour Party for opposing the scheme accusing them of not supporting aspiring homeowners.

But Chris Leslie MP, Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, said: “If the government was serious about helping first-time buyers they would also be bringing forward investment to build more affordable homes. Rising demand for housing must be matched with rising supply but under this government housebuilding is at its lowest level since the 1920s.

“You can’t deal with the cost of living crisis without building more homes. Unless the government acts now to ensure more affordable homes are built then soaring prices risk making it even harder and costlier for people aspiring to buy their first home."

Leslie wants the Bank of England to immediately review the details of the scheme rather than wait a year.

Paul Winter, chief Executive, Ipswich Building Society, said: “The ‘Help to Buy Scheme’ is a mechanic of the Government to make banks who had stopped lending because of their previous poor practices enter the higher loan to value space.

"Unlike many of the large lenders we’ve been offering 95% loan-to-value mortgages for years as part of our standard mortgage range without the need for a taxpayer-backed guarantee on borrower defaults.

"Last year over 13% of our total lending was to first time buyers through our standard 95% LTV mortgage, it seems that when it comes to doing anything to assist society or our economy banks need the taxpayer to take the strain whilst building societies just get on with it!

“I would urge consumers to do their research and not make any assumptions that the scheme will protect their mortgage payments or make it easier for them to gain a mortgage. Speak to a mortgage broker and seek proper advice before making your decision.”