Press Release

For immediate release

There are more than 2 million Help To Buy ISA prisoners in the UK

13, June, 2024, LONDON

A recent Freedom Of Information request made by the comparison site, Finder, has found that millions of people could be trapped in Help To Buy (H2B) ISAs, with nearly 2.2 million H2B ISAs currently open, holding a total value of almost £5.5 billion.

This comes as previous research by Finder found that the average house prices in 132 of 348 (38%) local authorities are currently above the current limit of £250,000*. This is projected to rise to over half (58%) of UK regions within 4 years at current rates. Since the H2B ISA was introduced in 2015, the average house price has increased by 38%, yet the limit has never increased.

It is no longer possible to open a H2B ISA, and you won’t be able to pay into it after 2029. The Lifetime ISA (LISA) was effectively brought in to replace the H2B ISA and it helps resolve the property value issue with a house price limit of £450,000 across the UK. You can also pay up to £4,000 a year into it per year vs the £2,400 a year with a H2B ISA (both come with a 25% bonus**).

You can’t combine a LISA and H2B ISA though, meaning that someone wanting to take advantage of the LISA’s superior benefits would need to transfer their capital across. However, you aren’t allowed to move it all across into a LISA at once. It is only possible to transfer up to £4,000 per year across, at the expense of adding fresh money into a LISA.

Sophie Barber, 27, from London, is someone who feels let down by the H2B ISA scheme: “I opened a Help to Buy ISA in 2016 to save towards buying my first home. House prices kept rising and I quickly realised the £250,000 limit would make it almost impossible to use the ISA in the area I wanted to buy. I decided to open a LISA as a replacement in 2021 but I’m angry that I have wasted my time completely with the Help to Buy ISA, with no bonus granted for the money I’d already saved in those 5 years. I’m also now restricted by putting £4,000 a year into the LISA so I can’t quickly build my savings in this account back up to the deposit contribution I’d already saved in the Help to Buy ISA.”

Commenting on the findings, Matt Mckenna, personal finance expert at said: “It is hard to escape the feeling that the public are the ones being punished for the failings of the Help To Buy ISA being kept up to date, with billions of pounds left in limbo. The Lifetime ISA effectively superseded it and offers more opportunity to save each year, so why can’t people simply transfer their savings (and the bonus they were promised) into it?

“Finder is campaigning for Brits to be able to move their full H2B amounts into a LISA in one go, keeping the bonus they have accrued. This will ensure that up to 2 million people with a H2B ISA can keep their much-needed government bonus and not lose ground in the long slog to save for their first property.”

To see the research in full visit:


* Both the H2B and LISa have a price limit of £450,000 for properties in London.

** The 25% bonus only gets applied on a H2B ISA when a property is purchased, whereas the 25% bonus is paid as you save in a LISA.

Finder submitted a Freedom Of Information request to HM Treasury and received an answer on the 7th May, 2024.Finder used the latest ONS data to find the average house prices for first time buyers broken down by local authority in 2023. Property market forecasts produced by Savills were then used to predict the average house price for first time buyers across every local authority in the UK between now and 2028.


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