Buyers advice

What you need to know about the Help to Buy scheme

Venetia Ragona Marketing Executive
DATE 06.09.21
Branded notebook 4

The Government’s flagship affordability scheme, Help to Buy, launched back in April 2013 in order to encourage first-time buyers to enter the property market.

The scheme has since contributed to the purchase of over 300,000 properties (Source: gov.co.uk).

Up until March 31 2021, buyers were able to utilise the scheme to purchase a new-build property worth up to £600,000 with a 5% deposit and a 20% government-backed loan (40% in London).

The scheme has now been revised and the last date homebuyers can reserve homes and apply for the Help to Buy: Equity Loan is 31 October 2022. This should allow enough time for homebuyers to legally buy their homes before the scheme ends on 31 March 2023.

How does the new scheme work?

Just as before, the new scheme sees the Government lend homebuyers up to 20% of the cost of a newly built home, or 40% in London.

Participants put down a deposit of at least 5% and must take out a repayment mortgage of greater than 25% to make up the difference.

So, what’s changed?

Unlike before, only first-time buyers can qualify for a loan. The Help to Buy Equity Loan was formerly available to those who had owned property in the past but did not at the time of applying.

Even if the homebuyer does not reside at the acquired property, they must not have any financial obligation or interest in any other residential property to be eligible.

Is Help to Buy only for new builds?

Yes, it is. As previously, the scheme is restricted to new homes only and not resale properties. At Kingsbury Stone we only deal with brand new, high specification homes in sought after locations. To see what we have in our portfolio with the Help to Buy scheme available, click here.

What happens after the first 5 years?

  • A buyer will not be charged interest on the equity loan for the first 5 years.
  • Interest fees start at 1.75% and rise each year in April by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) plus 2%.
  • A management fee of £1 is paid monthly to cover the life of the equity loan.
  • An equity loan is secured against your property in the same way as a repayment mortgage.
  • You must repay the equity loan when you sell the home, pay off your repayment mortgage or reach the end of your equity loan term. Although, you can repay all or part of the equity loan any time before then.

 

 

What else is new?

Help to Buy (2021-2023) has price caps set at 1.5 times the average first-time buyer property price in each region in England.

The aim of this price cap is to keep the prices of new homes closer to the average regional first-time buyer property prices. This also reduces the amount that first-time buyers need to borrow. You can check out the regional price caps here.