The government has extended the deadline of the current Help to Buy scheme.
COVID-19-related delays of up to eight months meant that buyers of yet-to-be-completed new build properties were at risk of being unable to complete on the purchase before the end of the Help to Buy Scheme.
History of Help to Buy
In the last seven years, the Help to Buy equity loan scheme has enabled 278,000 households to receive an advance from the government to help them pay the deposit on a newly-built home.
Buyers using the Help to Buy scheme – which gives them a 20 per cent interest-free government loan to add to their 5 per cent deposit – had been told that their new-build properties had to be finished by 31 March, the date the scheme was originally due to end.
After that date, a new Help to Buy Scheme- with restrictions on who could use it and lower price caps on qualifying properties – was in force. Industry experts feared many mortgage lenders would withdraw mortgage offers, leaving would-be buyers thousands of pounds out of pocket having incurred solicitors’ and mortgage broker fees.
Third extension to Help to Buy scheme
The government has now extended the legal completion date for properties bought under the scheme until 31 May 2021, which gives builders extra time to complete their homes.
This is the government’s third extension to the deadline and likely to be the last.
“This measure provides certainty to developers to build out homes delayed and further protects customers whose purchases have been delayed by Covid-19,” a spokesman for Homes England said.
He added the move was aimed to ensure “those buying a home through the scheme are not disadvantaged by circumstances beyond their control”.