Prisk hails housing scheme figures

Housing minister Mark Prisk hailed the role of Government-backed schemes in reviving the UK housing market - amid speculation the country is heading for another property boom.

Housing minister Mark Prisk has hailed the role of Government-backed schemes in reviving the UK housing market.

He released figures showing 3,749 people had got on the property ladder through the NewBuy scheme that allows people to buy new-build homes with a deposit of as little as 5% of the value of the property.

More than 25,000 had so far benefited from that and other schemes, he said, which "clearly show the housing market is moving again".

But Labour said the NewBuy figure represented only 5% of the 100,000 Prime Minister David Cameron had announced it would help.

Hilary Benn, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said: "David Cameron promised to help 100,000 families with the NewBuy scheme. Yet two years after announcing it less than 5% of that number have actually been helped on to the housing ladder.

"It shows how out of touch David Cameron is that while he claims to have turned things around, home ownership remains out of reach for many young families."

The housing market shrugged off the traditional August downturn as house prices grew at an annual pace of 1.8%, marking their biggest year-on-year rise for more than three years.

Nationwide building society recently reported a 3.5% year-on-year hike in prices in August, while Bank of England data showed mortgage approvals for house purchases hit their highest level since the financial crisis.

According to the latest Government figures, the Equity Loan scheme saw 3,000 sales and 10,000 reservations in its first three months.

Mr Prisk also pointed to 8,000 sales under the " reinvigorated" Right to Buy scheme for council tenants and 10,633 aided by the former FirstBuy scheme.

"With the Help to Buy: Mortgage Guarantee coming into force from this January, I expect to see even more people benefit from the support we're making available," he added.