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Are the Help to Buy ISA price limits too low?

Currently the maximum house price for buyers who adopt the Help to Buy ISA will be £250,000 (outside London) and £450,000 (in London).

However it will take over 4 years to accumulate the maximum government bonus (£3000). This leaves many asking an important question: If house prices continue to rise at their current rate, will I even be able to afford a house by the time I've finished accruing my bonus?

According to the Office of National Statistics, "In September 2015, prices paid by first-time buyers were 4.3% higher on average than in September 2014." - www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/hpi/house-price-index/september-2015/index.html

So with an average price increase of 4.3% per year, a £220,000 house today (Dec 2015), could be worth over £260,000 in Dec 2019 - and therefore over the allowed limit of £250,000.

It has currently not been confirmed as to whether the Government will be looking to increase the maximum purchase limits yet. However, some high-street banks are encouraging the Help to Buy ISA regardless of whether the government will increase the limits thanks to healthy interests rates.

It's also worth noting that it is perhaps unwise to let the Help to Buy ISA influence when you buy a property, instead it should be regarded as a useful tool to help first time buyers get a leg up onto the property market.

Published on 14 December 2015