Property scheme is helping out hundreds

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Hundreds of people in St Helens have been helped to own a home through the Help to Buy scheme, new figures can reveal.

Statistics show the Government’s flagship scheme to get first-time buyers onto the housing ladder has helped 458 people in the borough.

The council’s own mortgage scheme is also proving successful, helping St Helens residents to get on to the housing ladder and providing greater choice for homebuyers

St Helens Council spokesman

The most popular form of assistance in St Helens is the equity loan, where the Government loans up to 20 per cent of the price of a house if the buyer can produce a five per cent deposit and a mortgage to cover the rest, which had helped 262 homebuyers by the end of January 2015.

A further 171 people benefitted from the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee up to 31 December 2014 and 25 bought new houses under the scheme which offers 95 per cent mortgage on new-build properties.

The Government launched Help to Buy to assist individuals and couples who were struggling to provide the large deposits needed for mortgages in the wake of the financial crisis.

St Helens Council welcomed the findings of the research but reminded residents it also has its own scheme for ensuring people are able to move into a home of their own.

A council spokesman said: “Help to Buy is one of a number of routes into home ownership that help people who may struggle to raise the required deposit.

“The council’s own mortgage scheme is also proving successful, helping St Helens residents to get on to the housing ladder and providing greater choice for homebuyers.”

The scheme has also helped 332 homebuyers in Knowsley, with 202 homes purchased through equity loans, 116 through the mortgage guarantee scheme and 14 through the NewBuy 95 per cent mortgages.

More than 66,000 households across the country have now bought their first home through Help to Buy since it was created in 2013.

The Government claimed the scheme has also aided the economic recovery by encouraging new house-building, providing construction jobs and increasing the supply of properties.

Mortgages are also capped at around four and a half times the buyer’s salary to encourage responsible lending.