NEARLY 500 people across the county have bought their first property from the Government's Help to Buy scheme, it has emerged.

Data from the first two years of the massive project, launched in a bid to use £9.7 billion of taxpayers' cash to prop up the housing market, show 473 people have benefited across Worcestershire.

It includes 142 in Wychavon, which is the county's big winner, 76 in Bromsgrove and 56 in Redditch.

The scheme allows struggling would-be-homeowners to get a mortgage on a property with a deposit of just five per cent, instead of the typical 25 per cent.

It applies on properties worth up to £600,000, and subject to approval from a lender the remaining 20 per cent deposit normally required is underwritten by the Government.

The scheme is helping fuel a 34 per cent rise in construction since 2013 across the country, leading to fears of another housing bubble being created.

The Government is aiming for 200,000 people nationwide to take advantage of it it, and so far nearly 40,000 have.

The average price of a house bought under the scheme is just under £180,000.