13 JUN 2019

Help to Buy - National Audit Office Report

Today, the National Audit Office (NAO) released its latest report 'Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme – progress review'. We at The Housing & Finance Institute were delighted to be able to contribute to the report, alongside other HFi membership organisations, at our recent Housing Accelerators' Forum.

While the media claimed that the report was negative of the Help to Buy scheme, with a top-line based on individuals using Help to Buy when they don't need to; the report itself was far from the negative picture painted. In fact, the NAO's report was positive of the scheme and dispelled many of the myths associated with it.

Some of our top take-away points from the report were:

  • 2031/32 is the year by which the Department estimates it will have recouped its investment in full. 
  • 81% is the proportion of Help to Buy loans provided to first-time buyers in England, at December 2018. 
  • The Department expects the scheme to support around 352,000 property purchases by March 2021, via loans totalling around £22 billion in cash terms.
  • 63% of first-time buyers were aged 34 and under. 
  • The rate of building had increased by 14.5% because of the scheme. By comparing prices paid for similar new-build properties in the same area with and without the scheme, we estimate that buyers supported by the scheme have paid less than 1% more.
  • The scheme is therefore delivering value so far against its own objectives - those objectives being to "deliver the homes the country needs", through increasing home ownership and increasing housing supply. 
  • The Department is currently forecasting a positive return on its investment and redemptions are running ahead of expectations.

Click here to read the report in full.

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