To buy or not to buy? The UK’s top help-to-buy hotspots revealed

Central Bedfordshire the top district to purchase property through help-to-buy schemes in the UK

Entering the property market has become an increasingly daunting task for young people in today’s economic climate. As a result, many have taken advantage of help-to-buy schemes and ISAs to turn their dreams into a reality. Through the government’s Help-to-Buy scheme, buyers can receive an equity loan of up to 20 per cent (or 40 per cent in London boroughs) of the house’s total value, making it possible to purchase a home with just a 5 per cent deposit. The required deposit can then be saved with the help of high-interest ISAs. 

Though this method has become an increasingly feasible option, not all areas of the UK offer equal opportunity. Credit experts TotallyMoney have investigated Britain’s best and worst districts, cities and regions to lay down roots utilising help-to-buy schemes. 

We researched a number of factors in each district across the UK to determine a ranking, including the number of equity loans utilised in each region (per capita), the number of help-to-buy ISA property completions and the average amount left to pay after government help (based on average property prices). The research uses government data to compare every district of the UK, including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, to generate the complete list of help-to-buy hotspots and hopeless cases.

Desirable Districts 

Of the 388 government-defined regions in the UK, top help-to buy hotspots were revealed to be: 

1. Central Bedfordshire – The Eastern district came up trumps, with a high level of equity loans (1710) per capita, and 245 properties successfully bought using a help-to-buy ISA. The district beat out all competitors as the best place to purchase a property utilising help-to-buy in the UK. 

2. Chorley – The Lancashire market town came in second position with a low average property cost (£182,818) making getting on the property ladder through help-to-buy schemes more achievable. The district also boasts the lowest average minimum deposit from the top 5 districts (£9,141) and relatively high number of equity loans given out by the government per capita making property ownership more achievable for residents.

3. Cheshire West and Cheshire – The second area in the North West to appear among the top scoring districts, Cheshire West and Cheshire scored particularly highly in terms of the number of help-to-buy ISA property completions per capita where it came out top in the whole of the UK, with 495 residents purchasing homes utilising this scheme.

Help-To-Buy Cities 

Research also looked at which cities in the UK were best for first-time buyers to take advantage of a Help-to-Buy scheme. Of these, the most buyer-friendly cities were revealed to be: 

1. Wakefield – Located in a prime spot between Leeds and York, Wakefield is the UK’s most populated help-to-buy hotspot. The city has one of the highest levels of help-to-buy ISA property completions, helping 610 residents purchase new homes between December 2015 and March 2017.

2. Hull – In second place, and securing Yorkshire as a true hotspot hotshot, the port city scored highly in equity loans per capita. Hull’s low average property cost (£134,452) means that the 5% deposit required is the cheapest of any city at just £6,722.

3. Salford – Home to MediaCityUK, Salford sits in bronze position with 437 residents successfully purchasing homes utilising help-to-buy ISAs and a good level of equity loans per capita boosting its ranking.

Joe Gardiner, Head of Brand and Communications at TotallyMoney, said, “Today, entering the property ladder is increasingly being seen as a pipedream for many young people. But with the introduction of government help-to-buy schemes, this dream can become a realistic option. For those thinking of utilising these schemes, knowing where in the UK is the most help-to-buy friendly, and whether your local area is one of these hotspots, is of particular importance to allow buyers to make a responsible financial decision. ” 

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