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West Midlands third for Help to Buy sales

The West Midlands has had the third highest number of homes in England sold through the Help to Buy equity loan scheme since its launch five years ago.

More than 169,100 completed Help to Buy equity loan purchases have been made since 2013 worth an estimated £42.2 billion.

The figure for the West Midlands was 7,074, with Birmingham the area with the most at 1,532.

Of all purchases nationally, 81 per cent were made by first-time buyers.

The scheme is set to run until 2021, although it has been under scrutiny with claims it is enabling people who can afford to buy without the equity loan to climb on to the property ladder with just a five per cent deposit, thus driving up property prices.

Homelessness charity Shelter analysed the increased amount of mortgage lending in correlation to the scheme and concluded Help to Buy has increased the average home price by £8,250.

Housing experts at Fasthomes.org carried out the research to find out which counties in England have had the most and least completed Help to Buy equity loan property purchases.

Interest-free

It found that London was top with 12,206 and Greater Manchester second with 7,280. Staffordshire had 3,737.

Within the West Midlands Sandwell had 991 sales, Walsall 922 and Dudley 753.

The Government launched the Help to Buy equity loan mainly to help people step on to the housing ladder. It allows buyers with a minimum five per cent deposit of a property value to secure an interest-free loan of a further 20 per cent in England and Wales for the first five years.

The loan is only available on new-build homes up to £600,000.

The Government id currently deciding on the future of Help to Buy.

The Home Builders Federation says the scheme has been an “unmitigated success”, with 81 per cent of those helped having been first-time buyers.

Source: Express and Star