The Best UK Locations to Get Help to Buy
Help to buy was introduced to give new buyers a chance to get onto the increasingly expensive UK property ladder. With equity loans of 20% outside London and access to high interest ISAs to save the deposit, it has given many first time buyers an opportunity they might not have had just a few years ago.
The problem is that house prices vary considerably across the UK. It’s one thing to take advantage of the help-to-buy scheme, it can be a lot more difficult to get the most out of it and secure a solid investment.
Which is the best place to set up home if you want to leverage the full potential of your help-to-buy scheme?
A new infographic and interactive map from Totally Money gives new buyers a clear idea of where it makes sense to set up home and how their local area compares. The money comparison company looked at a variety of factors including government data to rank regions across the UK and find the best and the worst help-to-buy hotspots.
Best Help-to-Buy Regions
You might be surprised to learn that an area like Central Bedfordshire comes out top when it comes to help-to-buy. Around 250 properties have been bought to date using the ISA and there are over 1,700 loans per capita in the area.
The next region in line is Chorley in Lancashire. That could well be down to the relatively low property prices (you can expect to pay on average £180,000) and the equally low deposits required. Another great choice in the Northwest is West Cheshire and Chester which saw nearly 500 people buying a home using the help-to-buy scheme.
It’s not just regions that people tend to look at when they compare value. New buyers often look at individual cities. Here again, the north of England comes out well when searching for the best overall deals. Wakefield is certainly one of the top help-to-buy hotspots with a high level of completions while Hull isn’t too far behind. Surprise entries include Salford, which has benefited in recent years from major developments such as Media City. To date nearly 440 buyers have completed purchases in the city by using the help-to-buy scheme.
While the scheme certainly helps with buying a property in some areas, it makes less of an impact where prices tend to be high. In Edinburgh, the average property price is over £320,000. A total of 180 help-to-buy loans have been issued here with an average property value of just £180,000. Better options according to the tool can be found in Renfrewshire, Midlothian and Glasgow.
How much the help-to-buy scheme impacts on a property purchase undoubtedly depends on where in the country buyers choose to look. The good news is that you can now use Totally Money to find out if your area is in a good hotspot or you need to look elsewhere. You can check out their interactive tool here.