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Government extends building deadline for Help to Buy scheme

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03/08/2020
A delay in homebuilding during the pandemic meant some buyers would miss out on the government support, but the two-month extension will ensure thousands still benefit
Government extends building deadline for Help to Buy scheme

The Government has extended the deadline for new homes to be built to ensure Help to Buy scheme customers in England don’t miss out if there has been a delay in construction due to the pandemic.

Help to Buy equity loans provide a low-interest loan towards the buyer’s deposit. Customers need a 5% deposit, and the government lends up to 20% of the value of the home (up to 40% of the value if purchasing in London).

The scheme has helped more than a quarter of a million people to buy a home since 2013, but it’s set to change from next year.

What’s changing?

After 31st March 2021, Help to Buy will only be available to first-time buyers and new regional price caps will be introduced.

This deadline remains the same but, previously, new homes needed to have been finished being built by the end of December to be included in the current scheme – and delays to construction meant this won’t be the case on many reserved properties.

This extension means the deadline for properties to have been fully built will move to 28th February 2021, and the government said this will help thousands of customers to still benefit from the scheme.

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher, said: “Today’s announcement will help provide certainty and assurance for Help to Buy customers whose new homes have been delayed due to coronavirus and affirms the government’s commitment to helping more people to own their own home.”

New scheme unchanged

The new Help to Buy scheme, which replaces the current scheme, will come into place from 1 April 2021 and run until March 2023 as planned and there are no plans for further extensions.

The new scheme introduces property price caps and is restricted to first-time buyers only, supporting people onto the housing ladder.

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