146,000 1st-time buyers secure home through Help to Buy ISA

Figures show almost 150,000 first-time buyers have used the Help to Buy ISA to purchase their first home since the scheme began in 2015.

The ISA element of Help to Buy was launched in December 2015. So far, 146,753 properties have been purchased using the 25 percent boost to savings from the government provided by the scheme.

According to Treasury figures, the areas with the most Help to Buy ISA completions are in the north-west, Yorkshire and the Humber and the West Midlands. The lowest proportions are in the north-east and Northern Ireland, and most completions have been outside London where property prices are substantially higher than elsewhere in the country.

Savers using the scheme open an ISA and then receive a 25 percent boost to their savings from the government when they buy a property worth £250,000 or less (£450,000 in London). For every £200 saved, first-time buyers can claim a government bonus of £50. So far, 196,007 bonuses have been paid out with an average value of £800.

The figures from the first three years of the scheme show that the mean value of a property bought using a Help to Buy ISA is £172,448, compared to the average first-time buyer price of £188,429 and a national average house price of £224,144.

Meanwhile, the median age of a first-time buyer using the ISA is 27. That is three years younger than the national first-time buyer median age of 30.

The Help to Buy ISA will be open to new savers until November 30, 2019. Once the account is open, savers can keep adding to their account until November 30, 2029. All bonuses, up to a maximum of £2,500, must be claimed by December 1, 2030.