‘Help to Buy’ isn’t that helpful – just 73 people in Islington have used it

Help to Buy and similar schemes don't help Londoners afford housing

Help to Buy and similar schemes don't help Londoners afford housing - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

The disparity between buying a home in Islington and rest of the country was revealed by figures showing the low take-up for flagship government home ownership schemes in the borough.

The Help to Buy scheme has seen nearly 200,000 people nationwide take advantage of government money to buy a home. But in Islington only 73 people have used the scheme since its launch in 2013.

The average price for a property in Islington is £683,349 but the scheme will only support property purchases of up to £600,000 in London.

The Help to Buy equity loan, where the government contributes an interest-free 40 per cent loan towards a new build property, has been taken up by only 38 buyers while 92,000 have used it in the UK.

And the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee, where the government backs lenders offering risky 95pc loans, has been used by 35 Islington buyers in three years.

Dean Crossley of Square Quarters estate agent said: “We deal with a lot of first time buyers but we haven’t dealt with anyone using Help to Buy.

“They tend to have substantial help from their parents so perhaps that’s why.”

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New Chancellor Philip Hammond last week confirmed that the mort-gage guarantee scheme would not be extended after the initial 2016 dead-line had passed.

Under the Help to Buy ISA, which offers savers a 25pc government bonus to put towards properties costing up to £450,000, no cash at all has yet been claimed by Islington buyers although 15,513 have used the savings account across the country.

Colin Payne of Chapelgate Private Finance said: “Over the last couple of years more and more lenders have been offering 95pc mortgages outside the scheme on rates as competitive as, if not cheaper than, the Help to Buy guaranteete rates.”

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