August 22 2014 Latest news:
Annabelle Dickson, Political Editor
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Almost 190 households in Norfolk and Suffolk have been helped to buy homes under a controversial mortgage guarantee scheme, official figures have revealed.
In Norfolk, 102 households have borrowed a total of £14.3m with the help of the government, while in Suffolk the scheme has helped 85 households borrow a total of £12.8m,
Both counties saw the average house price below land registry figures, with the Norfolk homes brought under the scheme costing £147,000, below the £150,231, while in Suffolk, the average house was £158,823, below the land registry’s £160,507 figure.
Nationally some 7,313 households have been helped by the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme in the first six months since its launch with a total value of £1 billion, representing just 1.3% of all mortgage completions in the UK over the same period.
The mortgage guarantee scheme is supporting a higher proportion of mortgages in the North West and the East, at 2.3% and 3.3% of all mortgage lending in those areas respectively than it is in London and the South East, where the respective figures are 0.6% and 0.9%, the report said.
Experts were divided on whether further action is now needed to restrict lending under Help to Buy. Some said calls to tighten controls on the scheme amid fears about its impact on pushing up house prices are a “red herring”.
But others argued that placing further curbs onto the scheme, which offers help to both first-time buyers and home movers with 5% deposits, would send out a strong message to help calm the market.
A further 20,548 mortgages have been completed since another separate scheme which also runs under the Help to Buy banner and offers equity loans to help people buy a new-build home was launched in England last spring. The tally for both schemes puts the total number of households that have now been helped by Help to Buy at more than 27,000.