Research by wealth building platform Moneybox has shown that only around 150,000 Lisas – fewer than 2% of eligible savers– have been opened in the first year.
The government will provide bonuses of up to £1,000 on the one-year-old Lisas.
Up to £4,000 a year can be saved in Lisas, through which the government will provide an annual top-up of 25% that can be put towards a deposit for a first home.
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Ben Stanway, co-founder of Moneybox, said: “First-time-buyers are missing out on billions of pounds that could be going towards the dream of home ownership.
“Many will be saving the £4,000 needed to claim the maximum bonus elsewhere, so opening a Lifetime Isa makes perfect financial sense.
“It’s been fantastic to see our Lifetime Isa customers receive their first bonuses and we look forward to helping thousands of people get their foot on the property ladder over the coming years.”