Since the Help to Buy scheme was introduced in 2013, more than 270,000 buyers have used it to buy their homes. In 2018 the scheme accounted for over 60% of all new home purchases. The scheme will become more restricted over the next few years, and stop altogether in March 2023, unless the Government decides to extend it.
Homes England have announced that the new Help to Buy: Equity Loan (2021- 2023) scheme is now open to first time buyers. The new scheme supersedes the 2013-2021 Help to Buy. If a buyer is using the 2013-2021 scheme, they have until the 31st of March to complete the purchase. Applications to use this scheme closed on the 15th of December 2020.
There are subtle differences between the new scheme and the old. The main difference being that home movers will no longer be able to use it, with the new scheme being exclusively available to first time buyers purchasing a new build home.
Under the new scheme Help to Buy has new regional price limits, set at 1.5 times the average first-time buyer price in each region of England.
Below are the new price caps:
- North East: £186,100
- North West: £224,400
- Yorkshire and the Humber: £228,100
- East Midlands: £261,900
- West Midlands: £255,600
- East of England: £407,400
- London: £600,000
- South East: £437,600
- South West: £349,000
The new scheme means that first time buyers can borrow up to 20% (40% in London) of the cost of a new build home, whether this is a flat or a house. The percentage borrowed is based on the market value of the home at time of purchase. Buyers will need to have a 5% minimum deposit and be accepted for a mortgage of the remaining, with a 5% deposit a mortgage of 75% of the purchase price will be required.
The Government loan is interest free for the first 5 years. In year 6 interest fees start at 1.75% and rise each year in April by the Consumer Price Index, plus 2%. In addition, there is a monthly management fee of £1 payable for the life of the loan.
Homes England, the lender, secures the equity loan as a second charge on the home. The loan must be repaid when either selling the property, paying off the mortgage in full or at the end of the loan term. There is an option to repay the loan in full, or a minimum of 10% at a time (20% if it is a 40% loan).
You must purchase your home from a homebuilder registered for Help to Buy.