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6,000 applicants supported by help to buy in three months as scheme leads to £1bn in loans

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6,000 applicants supported by help to buy in three months as scheme leads to £1bn in loans

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Finance, Housing

'North-South divide' over stamp duty payments 'North-South divide' over stamp duty payments

The government's flagship help to buy policy has helped 6,000 people make offers on a home and apply for a mortgage in the last six months, with £1 billion in loans made in the process.

The scheme, which sees the government guarantee mortgages for first time buyers with only a 5% deposit, has led to almost 750 people becoming homeowners since its launch 12 weeks ago.

Banks Barclays and Santander are to introduce their own help to buy products onto the market this month, joining Lloyds Banking Group, RBS, HSBC, Virgin Money and Aldermore who have all launched products over the last three months.

The scheme is an effort by the government to boost the economy and increase the housing supply.

However, critics, including the business secretary, Vince Cable, have voiced concerns that the policy could lead to another housing bubble.

The coalition's latest figures also show that 20,000 households have been supported by the help to buy equity loan scheme, a separate initiative which sees the government provide an interest-free loan to support the purchase of a newly built home.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "The New Year is often a time when people look to make those big life-changing decisions like moving home or taking that first step on the housing ladder.

"But too many people have found themselves frozen out of the market in recent years as a result of the size of the deposit required.

"That is why as part of our long-term economic plan we introduced the help to buy scheme, so hardworking people with sufficient earnings can get on, fulfil their aspirations and enjoy the security of owning their own home.

"In less than three months, the scheme has already helped thousands of people.

"I want to see that continue in 2014 and for help to buy to help thousands more realise their dream of home ownership."

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