New Help to Buy scheme launch date announced

First-time buyers interested in new-build homes will be able to apply for the new Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme from Wednesday 16 December 2020, Homes England has confirmed.

With a Help to Buy: Equity Loan, the government lends homebuyers up to 20% – or 40% in London – of the cost of a newly built home.

Customers pay a deposit of 5% or more and arrange a mortgage of 25% or more to make up the rest. The equity loan is interest-free for the first five years.

Homes England suggested that homebuilders are getting into contract for the new scheme and starting to market their new-build homes. Eligible first-time buyers will be able to reserve their homes from December and get the keys to move in from 1 April 2021, the housing body stated.

“Help to Buy has already helped more than 270,000 people into home ownership and 82% are first-time buyers,” commented director of Help to Buy at Homes England, Will German. “The new Help to Buy builds on this success with first-time buyers in front of mind.

“We’re pleased we can help homebuyers with smaller deposits to own a home, at a time where there are fewer options open to them. Housing, like most sectors, has experienced a slowdown during the COVID-19 crisis, but Help to Buy continues to give homebuilders the confidence to keep on building at a more crucial time than ever.”

Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, added: “The government is providing more ways to help families onto the housing ladder, and provide that life changing moment when you get the keys to your own home.

“Alongside First Homes, Shared Ownership and our £12bn investment in affordable housing, our new Help to Buy scheme will help thousands more families take their first step into a home of their own.”

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