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What is Help to Buy?
Help to Buy is a scheme where the Government offers financial support to those looking to secure a home, but who are struggling to find the means for a deposit.
The Help to Buy Equity Loan is where the Government will give buyers a loan of up to 20% (or 40% in London) of the price of the property the buyers want to purchase. This allows buyers to purchase the desired property without having to place a large deposit.
An Overview of the New Government Scheme
With London’s population projected to soar significantly, houses in and around the area are in high demand, meaning that it is becoming increasingly difficult to buy a home. Despite the effect that Brexit has had on the housing market in the UK, house prices are expected to rise again over the next few years. Help to Buy is a government-backed scheme that has been designed to make the process of buying your first home or apartment more viable and affordable.
The Help to Buy scheme allows you to purchase selected properties without having to spend years saving up for a 20% deposit. You can now purchase a brand new Galliard Homes property with a deposit as small as 5% using Help to Buy.
The Help to Buy Equity Loan
The scheme enables buyers to purchase a new property, funded by a repayment mortgage, with assistance from ‘Homes England’ in the form of an Equity Loan. To be eligible for this loan, the property’s purchase price must be up to a maximum of £600,000 in England and it must be a new-build home. The property being purchased with an Equity Loan must be the only home that buyers own and cannot be rented out after buying.
The Equity Loan can be up to 20% of the purchase price meaning that if the purchaser can secure a 75% mortgage they will only need to pay a 5% deposit. The Equity Loan is interest free for the first five years, after which interest is charged at 1.75% per annum, increasing each year by the Retail Price Index (if any) plus 1%. The Equity Loan must be repaid after 25 years, or whenever you sell your home; you can pay the loan back over time in different quantities or all at one time, and the amount that you reimburse totally depends on the value of your home.
The London Help to Buy Scheme
After the Government’s Help to Buy scheme had a lot of success with first-time buyers when it was first introduced, the London Help to Buy scheme was announced in February 2016. This scheme allows first-time buyers the opportunity to borrow up to 40% of the price of the London property that they wish to buy. To add even more appeal to this scheme, there are no age restrictions and the loan is interest-free for the first five years.
If you would like to know more about the London Help to Buy scheme, please click here to read our guide.
A Help to Buy ISA is another option to consider when it comes to receiving financial support from the Government when you want to buy a house.* With a Help to Buy ISA, the Government will add to your money saved for your deposit by up to 25%. If you are buying with a partner, they too can open up a Help to Buy ISA so you can both have your savings topped up by the Government.
The home that you are intending to buy must be valued up to £250,000 and be the only property that you possess. The biggest benefit of opening a Help to Buy ISA is that the money given to you by the Government does not have to be paid back, making buying your first home simpler than you may think.
* The Help to Buy ISA closed to new accounts on the 30th November 2019 and is no longer available to open, but if you already have an existing account that you opened before this date, you can still continue to deposit money into it until November 2029.