Property in: LONDON

FTB Have Two Months Before Help-To-Buy Application Deadline

by Kos
4 minutes

The application deadline for the government-backed help-to-buy scheme is 31 October 2022.

First-time property buyers (FTBs) have less than two months before the help-to-buy scheme application comes on 31 October. The end of the scheme is scheduled for the end of March 2023.

The scheme helps FTBs to secure new build homes deals with much more attractive benefits than a typical mortgage purchase. However, the initiative is ending soon.

What Are The Core Takeaways?

  • The application deadline for the help-to-buy homes comes on 31 October 2022. The final closing of the scheme is 31 March 2023.
  • The scheme allows new buyers to secure a new build home with just a 5% deposit.

  • The government offers several other initiatives to help new and existing buyers purchase a new property.
  • Since its first launch in 2013, more than 350,000 people took advantage of the scheme and bought a new home.

What Do The Deadlines Mean?

The help-to-buy scheme applies to new build homes exclusively, which are often sold off-plan. As a result, there are two deadlines.

The first deadline (October) is the date by which a buyer has to apply to the scheme, having agreed to buy a new home off-plan. Generally, it means submitting necessary documents, including the Property Information Form, to your help-to-buy agent.

The second deadline (March) is the date by which you must have legally completed the purchase, meaning you need to have your keys and be able to move into your new home. If the deal is not finished, you are not eligible for the help-to-buy equity loan.

Note that there is a third deadline, which is 31 December 2022. It is the practical completion deadline, meaning that the new building must be ready before that date. 

As a result, FTBs who want to take advantage of the scheme must carefully check if their chosen developers meet these deadlines to take advantage of the help-to-buy scheme.

Why Is The Scheme Ending?

The help-to-buy scheme was implemented as a temporary solution. The government introduced the second stage of the scheme, which included limiting it to first-time buyers, in April 2021.

Currently, the government has no plans to prolong or replace the scheme after it ends.

What Other Schemes Can Property Buyers Utilise?

Even though the help-to-buy is ending, several other initiatives can help new buyers purchase a dream home.

  • New and existing buyers with 5% deposits can take advantage of the mortgage guarantee scheme to borrow the rest of the home price.
  • FTBs, key workers, and locals can utilise the First Homes scheme to purchase a home with a 30% discount on its market value.
  • Shared Ownership homes allow buyers to purchase a share in a home and rent the rest.
  • FTBs saving for a deposit can take advantage of the Lifetime ISA which helps save  £4,000 per year. Then, the government adds 25% (£1,000 max) to that. The saved funds must be used to buy a first home or for retirement.

As a result, savvy buyers have time to utilise the help-to-buy scheme before it ends or find other attractive supporting options.

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