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Revealed: the UK’s top Help to Buy hotspots

Nearly 150,000 homes have been bought using equity loans

Revealed: the UK’s top Help to Buy hotspots

New research shows the areas where the government’s Help to Buy scheme has aided the most buyers – so, does your town make the top 10?

The Help to Buy equity loan scheme has played a part in 144,826 house purchases since its launch in April 2013, with 81% of these homes going to first-time buyers. 

Here, we take a look at the UK’s Help to Buy hotspots, and offer advice on whether the scheme is a good option for first-time buyers in 2018.


Help to Buy hotspots: most popular areas

Credit report agency TotallyMoney has analysed government data to reveal the most popular areas of the UK for Help to Buy purchases.

The research took into account the number of equity loans per capita in each local authority, as well as Help to Buy Isa usage and bonuses, and overall housing affordability.

The interactive map below shows the UK’s top 10 Help to Buy hotspots. To find out how other areas fared, you can check out the full Help to Buy map from TotallyMoney.

Top UK cities for Help to Buy

Aside from local authorities, the research also looked at cities around the UK.

The most popular places for Help to Buy were primarily in the North of England, the data revealed.

Again, affordability remains the key indicator of a popular area – each of the 10 cities shown below has an average house price well below than the overall UK figure of £226,756.

Rank City Av. property cost Equity loans to first-time buyers HTB Isa completions HTB Isa bonuses paid Av. value of homes bought with HTB Isa
1 Wakefield £182,145 1,361 610 812 £137,972
2 Hull £134,452 988 335 441 £122,957
3 Salford £156,728 624 437 596 £151,100
4 Plymouth £200,394 619 403 544 £153,229
5 Sunderland £140,423 670 301 396 £128,170
6 Leeds £206,155 1,398 1,180 1,565 £156,722
7 Newcastle £204,561 826 320 414 £143,002
8 Derby £197,000 464 353 476 £153,432
9 Glasgow £191,921 610 805 986 £131,727
10 Wolverhampton £187,964 655 242 324 £141,229

Source: Totally Money analysis of MHCLG data

Is Help to Buy a good idea for first-time buyers?

In January, we assessed whether Help to Buy remains a good option for first-time buyers, and found that those who could save more than the minimum 5% deposit could be better off taking out a traditional mortgage.

Whether Help to Buy is right for you depends on your individual circumstances, so it’s best to take independent financial advice before rushing in.

Here are some of the main pros and cons of the scheme, at a glance:

Pros Cons
You can buy a property with a 5% deposit The government has a 20% (or up to 40% in London) stake in your home
The equity loan enables you to get a better mortgage deal than if you were taking out a 95% mortgage After five years, you’ll need to start paying interest on your equity loan
You own a brand new house with a warranty covering any defects The scheme is only available on new-build homes
There’s no interest to pay on your equity loan for the first five years Homes bought using Help to Buy tend to be more expensive than equivalent existing properties
Buyers in London can get an equity loan of up to 40% Remortgaging at the end of your fixed term can be an issue with an outstanding equity loan

Buying your first home

If you’re considering buying your first home, it’s a good idea to weigh up the various options available to you.

Help to Buy isn’t right for everyone, so get to grips with the basics of the scheme, and delve deeper into the ins and outs of Help to Buy equity loans.

Alternatively, if you’ve just started saving, you could open a Help to Buy Isa or lifetime Isa – and then take advantage of a bonus from the government when you come to buy your first property.

Finally, if you can’t afford to buy a house outright, you might be able to find a suitable shared ownership scheme in your area – but make sure the numbers add up before taking the plunge.

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