The government shows just how good it is with numbers

Posted: February 28, 2014 in News

The government is trying to boost the housing market with the Help to Buy equity loan scheme.

The scheme  offers an interest-free loan for five years from the government that boosts a borrower’s 5 per cent deposit by up to 20 per cent for a mortgage on a new build property worth up to £600,000.

Once that five years is up borrowers will start to pay a low rate of interest on their loan, starting at a rate of 1.75 per cent, and eventually pay back the capital they borrowed when they sell the house.

Whatever side of the housing bubble fence you sit on, the government stats show this scheme is boosting lending.

The first table below shows the number of loans since the scheme launched last April up to September.

Help to Buy loan states for April to September

Help to Buy loan states for April to September

The department for local communities and government released new data in early February 2014 to show even more homebuyers had used the scheme up to the end of January.

But wait at a minute? That column on the right hand side of the table below is exactly the same as the one above?

Help to Buy loan stats for April 2013 to January 2014

Help to Buy loan stats for April 2013 to January 2014

I phoned the DCLG press office who then had to check with a statistician to see if I was correct in saying the percentage figures were wrong. It was no suprise 15minutes later to be told the column was in fact incorrect.

Lets hope this government department isn’t using the same statistician for business rates and council tax!

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