More than 169,100 homes in England have been bought with the Help to Buy equity loan since its launch in 2013.

The Help to Buy equity loan has been used more in London, Manchester and West Midlands than in any other region in England.

More than 169,102 homes have been bought in England with the Government’s equity loan since its launch in 2013, according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Authority.

The scheme has been most popular in London, where 12,206 Help to Buy property purchases have been completed in the last five years. It is followed by Greater Manchester, where 7,280 homes have been bought using the equity loan.

In stark contrast, just 187 Help to Buy property purchases have been made in the Isle of Wight over the same time period.

The research, by Fasthomes.org, used data on the Help to Buy equity loan in England only.

What is the Help to Buy equity loan?

The Government launched the Help to Buy equity loan to primarily help people step on to the housing ladder.

It allows buyers with a minimum 5% deposit of a property value to secure an interest-free loan of a further 20% in England and Wales (rising to 40% in London) for the first five years.

The loan is only available on new-build homes up to £600,000. Similar support is available in Scotland.

Above: Two-bedroom flat for sale in London's West Drayton

What’s the background?

Unsurprisingly, high house prices in London have meant that the equity loan has been used sparingly in the capital’s most exclusive enclaves. The scheme has been taken up just twice in Kensington & Chelsea, and three times in the City of London.

It was Barnet that topped the London borough ranking of the most properties sold using the Help to Buy equity loan, with 914 deals in the past five years. It was followed by Havering (785) and Greenwich (732).

The figures come as the Government weighs up the future of Help to Buy, which expires in 2021. The Home Builders Federation (HBF) has previously declared the scheme an “unmitigated success”, adding that 81% of those assisted had been first-time buyers, while the scheme had led to a 74% jump in housing supply in the past five years.

But some commentators have pointed out that it has been used by better-off households moving up the property ladder.

And there have also been complaints that the loan has inflated house prices, creating significant affordability issues for buyers not using the scheme.

Source: Fasthomes.org

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