“Thousands of wealthy families are taking advantage of a taxpayer scheme designed to help struggling first-time buyers get on the housing ladder.
More than 6,700 households with incomes over £100,000 have bought homes using Help to Buy, according to the government’s own figures.
The scheme provides taxpayer cash to people seeking a mortgage. But despite its original aim to help people who could not afford big deposits, nearly one in 20 households with support have six-figure incomes.
And families with incomes of £50,000 or more have now received 40 per cent of loans, according to the report by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Of the families who used the scheme, 136,700 were first-time buyers. A fifth of families using the scheme were not first-time buyers.
There is no maximum income on the Help to Buy scheme, which applies to new-build homes.
The scheme allows house hunters to purchase new-builds worth up to £600,000 using deposits of only 5pc – or £30,000.
The Government loans up to another 20pc interest-free for five years – or £120,000. In London, the taxpayer loan can reach 40pc of the value of the property – or £240,000.
When the house is sold, the government takes the same proportion of the sale price. If it goes up, the government makes money. If it goes down, the taxpayer makes a loss.
Campbell Robb, Joseph Rowntree Foundation chief executive, said a lack of cash invested in affordable housing meant more pressure on families forced to rent.
A government spokesman said: ‘The majority of those using our Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme had household incomes of £50,000 or less.’ “