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London, 10 March 2016 – Nick Whitten, Residential Research Associate Director at JLL comments on latest Help to Buy statistics out today:
“The latest Government statistics show there have been just under 74,000 Help to Buy equity loans issued in the 33 months since the scheme was introduced in April 2013. This equates to just 3% of the 2.4m total housing sales in England & Wales over that period.
“Help to Buy has played an important role in providing a much needed boost for the housebuilding industry during the downturn. However, there are arguably more significant factors such as low interest rates and increasing availability of high loan-to-value mortgage rates that are helping first time buyers.
“There has never been a cheaper time to buy a house in terms of typical mortgage rates, according to Bank of England data. When the 3% additional stamp duty tax for buy-to-let and second home owners kicks in from April, Britain’s first time buyers are likely to have an even stronger hand and will play an increasingly key role in the UK housing market.
“That said, Government’s narrow focus on first-time buyer support overlooks the hundreds of thousands of people who join the private rented sector each year and represents a distraction from the core policy requirements of supporting those most in need. Government priorities need to focus on expanding housing supply in the private rental and affordable sectors."
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