Help to Buy Scheme Deadline Moved

First-time buyers who want to take advantage of the help-to-buy scheme must reserve a property by the end of October, two months earlier than expected. 

The scheme, which is set to end in March 2023, offers buyers an equity loan so they can buy a new-build property with a deposit of just 5%. 

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Because buyers must complete their purchase by March 2023, the deadline for applications was expected to be at the end of December 2022. Homes England, which runs the scheme, changed the guidance – and the deadline – on its website on 20th May. Application will now close at 6pm on 31st October 2022.

What is the help-to-buy scheme?

The help-to-buy scheme was launched in 2013 in a bid to restart the housing market following the financial crisis. Originally, there was a mortgage guarantee and this equity loan scheme, and all homebuyers were able to take advantage of it. 

Then in December 2020, the equity loan scheme for England was changed to apply only to first-time buyers, with regional price caps for qualifying properties.

The loans can be repaid at any time, but must be settled when the home is sold, or the mortgage is paid off. They are interest-free for the first five years. 

By the end of last year, 355,634 properties worth a combined £99bn had been bought with an equity loan, and that the total value of loans advanced was £22bn, according to government figures.

What if you miss the deadline?

At the moment, demand is outstripping supply in the housing market, which is why house prices are reaching such record highs, so it’s entirely possible that first time buyers might not find the right home for them by the 31st October deadline.

For the time being, it’s best to focus on finding the right place – you still have 5 months to find the home of your dreams, so make the best use of that time that you can. 

However, if you do miss the deadline, you can book in a call with our mortgage advisors. Our advice is completely free and they will be able to help you figure out your next steps.

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