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The Reality of the Help to Buy ISA

The Help to Buy ISA scheme will be great for those in the Midlands and North… but what about the rest of the country? First-time buyers look set to get a leg-up on the property ladder with the long-awaited launch of the Help to Buy ISA on 1 December. But with ever increasing property prices, just how helpful is the scheme?

  • For those in the Midlands and North, it appears the Government’s tax-free top-up could offer a genuine helping hand.
  • If you want to buy in the South East, you better get swiping on Tinder. Single people using the Help to Buy ISA will be unable to purchase anything between Cambridgeshire and Dorset in five years’ time.
  • Londoners are the real losers in the scheme, with the only properties under £450k set to be on the outskirts – Redbridge, in Zone 4, and others all in Zone 5 and 6.
  • Only 10 of London’s 33 boroughs will be affordable for couples looking for a starter home.

To many, it may feel that the Help to Buy ISA scheme is a headline-grabbing move rather than a solution to the housing crisis. Using land registry data for the past five years to reflect property trends, forecasted the affordability of property for first-time buyers saving with the Help to Buy ISA. The results have been mapped for single people and couples and an interactive widget reveals whether those saving with a Help to Buy ISA will really be able to purchase a property. See the maps and tool at Alastair Douglas, CEO of, comments: “While George Osborne’s Help to Buy ISA is great news for any first-time buyers struggling to get a deposit, it doesn’t go far enough. More has to be done to help first-time buyers and our research proves that. With ever increasing house prices, the Help to Buy ISA will not suffice, particularly for single aspiring homeowners. It’s too little, too late.”

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