When we came to power in 2010, potential first-time buyers found themselves in a bleak situation. The financial crash, high house prices and large deposits wanted by the damaged banks meant buying a first home was only an option for the wealthiest or those with rich parents.
It was unacceptable that so many people were being barred from having the security and stability of owning their own home – an aspiration that is such an important part of achieving a recovery for all.
We pledged that we would act, to help all those who were working hard, saving up, and setting their sights on buying a home of their own.
So last year we introduced Help to Buy to help would-be buyers who could afford mortgage repayments but didn’t have the ‘bank of mum and dad’ to fund big deposits.
In just one year Help to Buy has become a huge success. Today, I am delighted to see that over 17,000 people have taken up our equity loan and mortgage guarantee schemes and own a home, including 226 people in Birmingham and Solihull
For these people and many others, Help to Buy has been the right policy at the right time. It has transformed home ownership from a pipe-dream to a reality for so many people. It isn’t just about bricks and mortar; it’s about progress – giving people a chance to put down roots and invest in their future.
Initially there were those who said Help to Buy wouldn’t work. Some said it would increase demand but not result in new houses being built.
But builders say it’s getting them building again, and housing starts have increased by 23 per cent. Some said it would only benefit London.
Yet 77 per cent of Help to Buy sales are actually being taken up outside London and the South East. Some said it would inflate prices.
But the average price of a home bought under the scheme is worth £195,000, well below the average house price in Britain.
Help to Buy is helping this Government to realise its vision for Britain: that people who work hard should be able to get on in life.
That is why we are extending the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme to 2020 – so that even more people can get on the property ladder and get the keys to a home of their own.
* The Prime Minister