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Help to Buy: More than 7,000 homes sold under guarantee scheme

House7,313 homes have been sold so far under the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme, the Treasury says.

The figures are the first comprehensive measure of the scheme since it was launched late last year.

The majority of sales were outside London, which will help the government to argue that it has not had a major effect on house prices.

Just 5% were sold in the capital, where prices have soared, and 14% in the South East.

Liberal Democrat Business Secretary, Vince Cable, is among those who have argued that Help to Buy may be stoking house price inflation.

Prices across the UK are rising by 8% a year, according to the Office for National Statistics, and 17% a year in London.

The Help to Buy figures officially cover the first three months of 2014, but include all applications since October 2013, when home-buyers were first able to register for the mortgage guarantee scheme.

Guarantees

At the same time, new figures on the first part of Help to Buy - the equity loan scheme- show that 20,548 new homes have been sold through the scheme in the 13 months since it began.

In total, 27,861 homes have now been sold under the two parts of Help to Buy.

That is a small proportion of the total number of homes sold over the same period.

Under the equity loan scheme, buyers are able to buy a new-build home with a deposit of just 5%, and can borrow up to 15% of the property's value from the government.

Under the mortgage guarantee scheme, buyers can purchase any home up to the value of £600,000, and part of their loan is underwritten by the Treasury.