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Supply of eligible Help to Buy homes falls 7.4% in a year

5th March 2015

  • But average price of property eligible for Help to Buy rises 5.5% in twelve months
  • Available stock drops by a quarter in Stockport, as first-time buyers in the north feel the brunt of squeezed supply on the market

The number of properties on the market eligible for the government’s Help to Buy scheme has fallen 7.4% in the last year, according to property website Zoopla.co.uk.

The analysis of properties for sale in England and Wales up to a value of £600,000 also shows that the average price of properties for sale that qualify for Help to Buy has risen 5.5% since March 2014.

The biggest fall in properties eligible for Help to Buy in the past year has been in the East of England, with a 12.3% reduction in suitable stock on the market, while average prices have climbed 6.1% over the same period. In London, the typical value of a property qualifying for Help to Buy has risen by 11.7% since March 2014.

Stockport has witnessed the sharpest decline in properties eligible for Help to Buy, with available stock dropping 24.3% from a year ago. Compared to March 2014, there are now 16.9% fewer properties on the market in Rochdale that meet the scheme’s criteria, and 15.6% less in Huddersfield.

Further south, the number of properties for sale in Worcester, Cheltenham and Exeter that qualify for Help to Buy support has increased 5.4%, 3.3%, and 3.2% respectively in the past twelve months.

Of all London boroughs, Southwark, Lambeth, Waltham Forest and Newham have seen the greatest annual rise in supply of homes up to £600,000, increasing by over 15%.

Lawrence Hall of Zoopla.co.uk commented: “The Help to Buy scheme was intended as a leg up for flailing first-time buyers, but in some areas that footrest has since been pulled from under their feet. Greater demand hasn’t been met by greater supply of homes on the market, and instead the soaring price growth of the past year appears to have airlifted many properties out of the starter home zone. The pool of homes on the market within reach of Help to Buy assistance needs to expand, or this pinch on supply will continue to inflate prices at the bottom rungs of the ladder.”

Help to Buy eligible properties for sale by region

Region % Change in Stock Levels (Mar 14 to Mar 15) % Change in Av. Property Value  (Properties up to £600,000)
East of England -12.3% 6.1%
South East England -9.9% 6.8%
Yorkshire and The Humber -8.9% 0.7%
East Midlands -8.6% 5.0%
North West England -7.2% 1.3%
North East England -7.2% 2.2%
West Midlands -6.6% 4.5%
London -4.7% 11.7%
South West England -4.6% 4.5%
Wales -0.8% 0.6%

Source: Zoopla.co.uk (March 2015)

Locations with the biggest fall in Help to Buy eligible properties for sale

Location % Change in Stock Levels (Mar 14 to Mar 15) % Change in Av. Property Value  (Properties up to £600,000)
Stockport -24.3% 1.4%
Rochdale -16.9% 5.2%
Huddersfield -15.6% -1.9%
Leeds -14.7% 0.0%
York -13.5% 5.2%
Blackpool -13.4% -1.0%
Manchester -13.4% 2.7%
Ipswich -13.0% -1.9%
Hull -13.0% 1.0%
Sheffield -12.9% 0.0%

Source: Zoopla.co.uk (March 2015)

Locations with the biggest rise in Help to Buy eligible properties for sale

Location % Change in Stock Levels (Mar 14 to Mar 15) % Change in Av. Property Value  (Properties up to £600,000)
Worcester 5.4% 7.0%
Cheltenham 3.3% 7.5%
Exeter 3.2% 5.0%
Portsmouth 1.9% 0.4%
Plymouth 1.4% 5.0%

Source: Zoopla.co.uk (March 2015)

Top five London Boroughs with the biggest rise in Help to Buy eligible properties for sale

London Borough % Change in Stock Levels (Mar 14 to Mar 15) % Change in Av. Property Value  (Properties up to £600,000)
Southwark 18.6% 16.1%
Lambeth 16.3% 7.7%
Waltham Forest 15.4% 16.6%
Newham 15.2% 22.5%
Tower Hamlets 10.4% 9.5%

Source: Zoopla.co.uk (March 2015)

- Ends -

For further information, please contact Tim Vooght at pr@zoopla.co.uk or on 020 3872 5615.

Notes to editors

Zoopla is the UK's most comprehensive property website, focused on empowering users with the resources they need to make better-informed property decisions. We help consumers both find their next home and research the market by combining hundreds of thousands of property listings with market data, local information and community tools.

At Zoopla we are fans of transparency and everything we do is aimed at making the market more efficient for both property consumers and advertisers alike. Zoopla has rapidly become the UK’s leading online destination for property consumers to search for homes and do their market research and the favoured online marketing partner for UK estate agents, letting agents and property developers.

Launched in 2008, Zoopla has since been one of the fastest growing websites in the UK, now attracting over 40 million visits per month and we are proud to have collected numerous awards and accolades along the way, including being named one of the Top 10 UK Tech Companies (Guardian) and one of the Top 10 Most Innovative UK Companies (Smarta).

Zoopla is part of Zoopla Limited which was founded in 2007.

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