Temporary extension to the Help to Buy scheme
The Help to Buy equity loans scheme is open to both first-time buyers and home movers on new-build homes in England with a purchase price up to £600,000. The Help to Buy equity loans provide a low-interest loan towards the deposit. The loan is interest free for the first 5 years. New home buyers need a 5% deposit, and the government lends up to 20% of the value of the home (up to 40% for London).
The deadline for the homes to have been finished in order to comply with the equity loan scheme has been extended from 31 December 2020 to 28 February 2021 to ensure home buyers do not miss out if there has been a delay in construction due to the pandemic. The deadline for the legal completion of the sale will remain the same – 31 March 2021. The completion of sale deadline may be extended further to 31 May 2021 if a reservation was in place by 30 June 2020. These changes apply to the equity loans scheme in England and not to similar schemes in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.
The government’s new Help to Buy scheme, which will replace the current scheme, will come into place from 1 April 2021 and run for two years until March 2023. There are no plans for further extensions. The new scheme introduces regional property price caps and will only be available to first time buyers.