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‘Affordable’ homes disappear from market

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Help to Buy and other schemes are helping more people onto the ladder, but buyers still face high property prices.

Research by Halifax showed that the average price paid for properties purchased under affordable housing schemes in Britain was £189,786. This figure is just 4% lower (£7,750) than the market rate of £197,535.

While London properties cost more than anywhere else in the country, they did attract the biggest discount compared to average market values.

Affordable properties in the capital were sold at an average of £323,148, a third below the typical London regional price of £482,579.

The price paid by buyers using affordable home schemes in the north was £147,437, the lowest in the UK.

Halifax said the Help to Buy scheme had proved a hit with its target market. Under the scheme 80% of mortgages were taken out by first-time buyers, compared to 46% across the whole market.

The average price paid by first-time buyers who use the scheme is £150,361. This figure is 10% lower (£16,732) than the average price of £167,093 for the wider market.

Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax, said that rising house prices were forcing more people to consider affordable housing schemes.

“Many of the affordable home ownership schemes available have been designed specifically to help first-time buyers get on the ladder and support construction of new build homes,” he said.

“The latest official figures show this has been successful, as Help to Buy and Help to Buy NewBuy schemes have helped close to 80,000 first-time buyers on to the housing ladder since Help to Buy’s introduction in 2013.

“As the economy continues to recover and mortgage interest rates remain at very low levels. We expect to see continued growth in first-time buyers during the second half of the year.”

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