Help-to-Buy was introduced in 2013 by then Chancellor George Osborne. It was aimed at helping first and second time buyers get on the 'housing ladder', and also to help the UK construction industry following the financial crisis (which of course was also caused by the collapse in another property market across the pond!). However, a report late last year by Morgan Stanley said that the actual winners were the handful of large UK house-builders. New-build properties suddenly commanded more of a premium than ever as they were eligible for Help-to-Buy.
Meanwhile, private investors with cash struggling to earn 1% in a building society or bank account saw the policy as a one-way bet on the housing market, and so bought up great numbers of properties to let out - that would have probably been very suitable for the very people that Help-to-Buy was supposed to help! When confronted with a broken property market, the UK government chose to listen to the housebuilders, and Help-to-Buy has made things even worse.