Would-be-homeowners in large parts of England are being priced out of a government scheme to help first-time buyers, a BBC investigation has found.
The Help to Buy Individual Savings Account (HTB Isa) was introduced last year to help people save for a home.
In many areas, the average price of a starter home exceeds the maximum purchase cap of £250,000, or £450,000 in London.
The government said the cap allowed them to focus on first-time buyers.
The HTB Isa was introduced in December to allow first time buyers to put their deposit into a tax-free savings account and get a 25% bonus, up to a maximum of £3,000, when they buy their home.
However, the bonus is only available if the purchase price does not exceed the cap. Housing charity Shelter said it only helped “the lucky few” and the government should focus on building more homes.
The English Regions data unit analysed the average asking price of properties in almost 1,000 local areas on the property website Zoopla.
Explore the data here
Our analysis of two-bedroom starter homes found:
Overall, outside London, two-bedroom homes exceed the cap in 28% of areas
Average asking prices exceed the cap in 67% of areas in the South East, 65% in London, 61% in the South and 53% in the East
This compares to less than 5% of areas in the North East, the Midlands, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire
Ferryhill in County Durham had the cheapest average asking price, at just over £45,000.
The most expensive area outside London was East Molesey in Surrey, where the average price is £551,025
For other types of property, our analysis found:
In London, an average two-bedroom flat exceeds the cap in two thirds of London boroughs, while one-bedroom flats exceed the cap in a third of boroughs
Only 10% of average three-bedroom homes in London …read more
Source:: BBC world news feed