Help to Buy is a Government scheme aimed at helping people with small deposits to buy their first home or move up the property ladder. The scheme is available as an Equity Loan until 2021. The Mortgage Guarantee element of Help to Buy was scrapped at the end of 2016.
Under the Equity Loan part of Help to Buy, first-time buyers and home-movers only need to find a deposit of 5% of the property’s value. The Government will then provide an equity loan of a further 20%, meaning you’ll only need to qualify for a 75% mortgage. Help to Buy Equity Loan is available in England until 2021 on new-build homes worth £600,000 or less.
Help to Buy London, which launched in February 2016, is an extension of the Equity Loan. Buyers will still need to raise a deposit of at least 5%. The only difference is that, due to higher house prices in the capital, the Government's equity loan doubles to 40% of the property's value, meaning you'll only need to qualify for a 55% mortgage. Help to Buy London is available until 2021 across all London boroughs. Again, the scheme only applies to new-build homes worth £600,000 or less.
Since 1 March, 2016, Help to Buy (Scotland) Affordable New Build and Help to Buy (Scotland) Smaller Developers schemes have been open to new applicants. They both require first-time buyers and home-movers to raise a deposit of at least a 5% of the property value. The Scottish Government will then provide an equity loan of up to 15% meaning you'll only need to qualify for a mortgage of 80%. Help to Buy Scotland is available until 2021 on new build homes in Scotland with a maximum qualifying property value of £200,000.
On 10 December 2015, the Welsh Government announced a second phase of Help to Buy (Wales) when the first tranche of funding runs out in 2016. It says the second phase – which will operate under the same criteria as the first – will underpin the building of up to 600,000 new homes in the country. Under the scheme, first-time buyers and home-movers will need to find a deposit of 5% of the property value. The Welsh Government will then provide an equity loan of a further 20%, meaning you’ll only need to qualify for a mortgage of 75%. Help to Buy (Wales) phase two, will be available from 2016 until 2021 on new-build homes in Wales worth £300,000 or less.
The Help to Buy ISA, introduced on 1 December, 2015, is a tax-free savings account designed to give first-time buyers saving for a deposit a cash boost. For every £200 saved into a Help to Buy ISA, the Government will throw in an additional £50. The maximum bonus you can receive is £3,000, which would apply to savings of £12,000. So if you are a first-time buyer saving for a deposit of up to £15,000, you’ll be able to reach your target faster.