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The Help to Buy scheme has made the housing problem worse

Taxpayers’ money has sustained the bubble rather than helping with affordability

By Daniel Bentley  

Houses under construction ©Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images

It is four years since George Osborne, tired of waiting for housebuilding to pick up from its historically low post-crash levels, gave the industry a shot in the arm. The then Chancellor’s Help to Buy scheme provided government loans worth up to 20 per cent of the value of a new-build property (later increased to 40 per cent in London), topping up what commercial mortgage lenders were prepared to offer.

On the surface, this seems to have been a success. The number…

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