The Help to Buy scheme is most popular with people aged 20 to 29 years, according to research from Move with Us, home of the UK’s largest network of independent of estate agents.
Results from a survey* of estate agents across Britain revealed that first-time buyers are the main adopters of the scheme, using the government backed initiative to secure a mortgage, with 86% of estate agents noticing this trend. Second steppers came in second place, making up nearly 18% per cent of the Help to Buy market.
Further results show that 78% of people using Help to Buy are young couples, 10.5% are single and 9% are families.
The survey also showed that nearly 7% have used the government incentive to upsize and just 3% have used it to downsize in the last six months.
Looking at the regional breakdown, the government scheme has been a life-line for many young aspiring homeowners in areas where house prices can be prohibitive for many. For example, in Greater London where the average asking price has risen 18.94% in a year to reach £438,118, 93% of people using the Help to Buy scheme are typically aged 20-29. In the North East this figure is lower with 85% adopting the scheme where property prices are an average of £153,413 having only risen 0.70% in the last 12 months.
Considering all their buyers and not just those using the Help-to-Buy scheme, estate agents noted that 52% of their buyers are aged between 30 and 39. Twenty-five per cent of buyers are 40 to 49, 16% are aged between 20 and 29 while just 3% of home movers are over 60.
Robin King, Director at Move with Us commented: “The Help to Buy scheme has been at the centre of many debates. Despite clearly helping some aspiring homeowners to get a foot on the property ladder, it has come under criticism for potentially creating another housing bubble and not tackling the housing shortage.
“A blanket approach to solving the housing crisis in Britain won’t work because there are very different markets in play. Greater London and the North East are polar opposites. Help to Buy should only be available in regions that need stimulating, such as the North East, otherwise it will create a housing bubble. If it were only accessible in markets where there is enough housing stock to keep pace with demand, prices wouldn’t be artificially inflated and affordability reduced – the very thing Help to Buy was introduced to combat.
“Our focus should be on creating more affordable housing and looking at introducing schemes and solutions aimed at injecting more money into the supply chain so there are enough bricks, mortar and quality tradesmen available. Tacking the supply shortage is the best way to create a sustainable solution to this widespread housing problem.”
*Survey conducted among 175 independent estate agents across the UK.