Image: © RobinHiggings via Pixabay

Help to Buy isn’t helping people to buy. Awks.

Only 16 percent of people with Help to Buy ISAs have been able to use it to buy a home.

What it means: The UK Conservative government set up the Help to Buy ISA in 2015 with the intention of getting more people on the property ladder (the average house price in the UK is currently almost 8x the average salary, so you can see why people were struggling a bit).

The idea was that Brits would put their savings into a special account and the government would top up those savings by 25 percent (up to £3,000 a year). But the government money would only be given to you when you actually bought a house, to stop people snaffling government funds for a blowout at Topshop or an all-inclusive holiday to Ibiza or whatever.

The problem with this plan is that most people who buy a house only pay the deposit upfront (and use a mortgage, i.e. a loan paid off in monthly installments, for the rest). And that deposit has to be paid before you’ve technically ‘bought’ the house, making it nearly impossible to use the Help to Buy ISA for the bit of house-buying most people needed their Help to Buy bonus for.

The upshot was that a quarter of home-buying was delayed as people realised they didn’t have as much money as they thought they did. And the government hasn’t made much of an effort to clear the confusion up, because 70 percent of wannabe home-buyers still think they will be able to use their Help to Buy bonus to pay for their deposit.

Tbf, none of this may matter for long, because the government is scrapping the Help to Buy ISA in 2019. It's replacing it with a Lifetime ISA where the 25 percent government bonus can be used for a first-time home or your retirement (yay) but where the maximum the government will give you is now is only £1000 a year (boo).

Recent articles

Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?