555,000 would-be first time purchasers have opened Help To Buy Individual Savings Accounts – HTB Isas – since they were launched in December.
The accounts are aimed at first time buyers, allowing them to save money without having to pay tax on interest earned, and to qualify for a government bonus of 25 per cent if the saved money is used to buy a home.
Between the scheme launching shortly before last Christmas, and the end of May this year, some 2,090 bonuses were bought – the average value of each being £421
Savers bought 1,490 properties, with the highest interest coming from homebuyers in the North West and Yorkshire.
The government – which this week has been stressing that all elements of Help To Buy will not be impacted by the Brexit vote – says over 160,000 completions under various Help To Buy schemes have now taken place, with 80 per cent of them involving first time buyers
Critics of the Help To Buy’s mortgage guarantee and equity loan schemes say that with average house prices in many areas being £200,000 or more, these initiatives – which typically require a five per cent deposit – are still out of reach to many.