09 SEP 2019

Public Accounts Committee Report - Help to Buy

Following the HFi's former Chairman, Sir Mark Boleat, appearing in front of the House of Commons' Public Accounts Committee to discuss the National Audit Office's Help to Buy report; the Public Accounts Committee have published their report into the scheme. 

In particular, they focused on Sir Mark's comments that consumers should be able to repay their loans, and any interest, as long as house prices continue to rise. As well as his concerns that if house prices fall, both consumers and the scheme itself may lose money.

As the HFi wrote recently, some of our top take-away points from the original National Audit Office's report are:

  • 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 to read the report in full. 

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