HBF urges Government to protect Help to Buy

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The Home Builders Federation (HBF) have released a new report highlighting the benefits of the Help to Buy scheme, urging the Government to maintain it

The new report by HBF states that the Help to Buy scheme has managed to achieve its targets by increasing home ownership, growing housing supply and generating economic viability.

The government is currently considering the merits of continuing the scheme, following criticism and claims that the initiative was benefitting wealthier households.

However, housebuilders want it to stay.

The HBF report reveals that 170,000 homes were purchased through the scheme between April 2013, when the scheme began, and March 2018. Of these, more than 80% were bought by first-time buyers.

The report also suggests that in total it is estimated to have enabled some 246,000 individuals to get on to the housing ladder, and despite claims from critics, the scheme is helping those it was set out to.

Since the scheme launched housing supply has increased by 74%, the fastest increase on record, to supply levels last seen in the 1950s.

The 48,000 homes sold through Help to Buy last year also helped sustain an estimated 150,000 jobs, says the report.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation said: “It is quite clear that the Help to Buy scheme has been an unmitigated success and has delivered handsomely on all its objectives. It has enabled hundreds of thousands of people to realise their dream of owning a home, the vast majority of whom are first time buyers on average incomes. It has led to an unprecedented increase in house building activity, created tens of thousands of jobs and boosted local economies the length and breadth of the country.

“Government should celebrate its success and use the hard evidence now available to rebut the claims of its critics. As we look to tackle our acute housing crisis and deliver on the Prime Minister’s target to build 300,000 homes per year the scheme has a key part to play. Government should reflect on the huge impact the scheme is having on individuals keen to realise their dreams of home ownership, on housing supply and on the wider economy.

”Housebuilders continue to invest in the land, materials and people needed to deliver furthers increases in supply confident in the demand Help to Buy is underpinning. Certainty moving forward is now required to enable the increases in housing supply, and the associated social and economic benefits, to continue.”

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