More than 48,000 homebuyers have used the Help to Buy scheme

The government’s Help to Buy scheme has been used by more than 48,000 homebuyers since it started, according to the latest figures. However, the amount of people currently taking up the scheme suggests that the scheme may have already peaked. House-builder Redrow reported that use of Help to Buy loans was less popular this year than last. “The summer months of 2013 saw Help to Buy activity at its peak, with reservations running at particularly high levels,” said Redrow’s chairman, Steve Morgan. “This year the period from 1st July to date has seen a more normal summer selling pattern.” he said. Redrow believe that the slow down in the market has occured as a result of new rules aimed at stopping irresponsible lending. Since April, lenders have been obliged to ask borrowers more detailed questions about whether they can afford a mortgage. The number of people using the mortgage guarantee, which is part of Help to Buy, fell in June to 3,892, compared with May which ended on 4,026. Figures from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) showed that 18,564 people used the scheme since it began in October 2013 and an additional 29,829 home-owners took advantage of the equity loan scheme since it started in April 2013. The news of a possible slowdown in demand for Help to Buy will be of interest to the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC), as they are due to decide whether the scheme should be altered at the end of the month. “Starting in September… the FPC will provide an assessment of the impact of the scheme on financial stability, and whether the key parameters of the scheme – the house price cap and the fee charged to lenders – remain appropriate,” wrote the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, in a letter to MPs. The current cap on Help to Buy loans is £600,000, but could be reduced to £300,000 if the Bank decides to cool the market. The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with residential property solicitors in Basingstoke and across the country.