This week official figures have shown that the Government’s Help to Buy schemes have supported over 320,000 people to buy a home, including more than 275,000 first-time buyers, with nearly all purchases taking place outside London.
Housing is the cause of many debates both in the Houses of Parliament and in Council chambers across the country. As politicians continue to talk about the need to build more homes there is one former MP who helped many achieve the dream of owning their now home.
The flagship policy of David Cameron which was unveiled by the then Chancellor George Osborne in 2013, offered first-time buyers the opportunity to purchase a home with a Government-backed loan worth up to 95 per cent of the value of the property.
In total more than 320,000 completions have taken place using one or more of the Help to Buy schemes. As well as the 275,000 who used the first time buyers scheme, more than 130,000 completions have now taken place through the Help to Buy equity loan scheme, offering buyers up to 20% in an equity loan so they only need to provide a 5% deposit.
The average house price across all the schemes is £196,092, below the average UK house price, and over 90% of completions across all the Help to Buy schemes have taken place outside of London.
The then Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said in September 2013, "Unless David Cameron acts now to build more affordable homes, as Labour has urged, then soaring prices risk making it even harder for first time buyers to get on the housing ladder."
The government’s Help to Buy ISA scheme was launched in December 2015 to provide first-time buyers the opportunity to save up to £200 a month with the government topping up their contributions by 25%, up to a maximum of £3,000. Next week when I return from the Conservative Party Conference, I will be applying to benefit from the Help to Buy ISA because like thousands of others I want to own a home.
Many in politics may say that David Cameron will only ever be remembered for giving people a say on our relationship with the Europe Union. However, I think thousands of hard working people across the country would argue that the dream of them owning their own home became a reality because of this flag ship policy.
As the Labour Party just continue to urge that we need to build more affordable homes, the Conservative Party are getting on with delivering the reality of homeownership for thousands of people across the country.