Help to Buy

The Help to Buy scheme is made up of two parts:

  • An ‘equity loan’, (from 1 April 2013) where the government will lend you up to 20% of the value of your newly-built home
  • A ‘mortgage guarantee’, where the government will guarantee part of your mortgage if you only have a small deposit

The equity loan scheme – for newly built property

This scheme started on 1 April 2013 and will run until 2021. It will be available in England only. The Welsh and Scottish governments and the Northern Ireland Assembly will have funding for similar schemes.

Under the loan scheme, if you have a 5% deposit and want to buy a newly-built home, you can apply for a loan worth up to 20% of the value of the property. So you will only need to take out a mortgage for 75% of the cost of the property.

The loan is funded by the government and will be interest-free for the first five years. In year 6 you will pay a fee of 1.75%, of the original loan amount. In year 7 onwards this 1.75% charge will rise each year by the increase (if any) in the Retail Prices Index (RPI) plus as additional 1%.

You can also pay back all or some of your equity loan without selling your home. A partial repayment is known as staircasing.  Any repayment must represent a minimum of 10% of the value of the property at the time you wish to make the payment. The amount you need to do this will increase if your home increases in value and decrease if its value falls.  If you make a partial/full repayment, the Government will then hold a reduced equity stake in your property.

Help to Buy replaces a previous scheme – FirstBuy

Help to Buy loans are available to movers as well as first-time buyers

  • You don’t have to be on a low income to qualify
  • Loans are available on properties worth up to £600,000

You can apply for the scheme via participating house builders or through a ‘Home Buy agent’.

The mortgage guarantee scheme – for newly built and existing property

The mortgage guarantee part of the Help to Buy scheme is designed to help you get a mortgage, if you only have a small deposit.
One of the problems experienced by people looking for a mortgage is that most mortgages – and the lowest interest rates – are only available to those people who need to borrow 75% or less of the value of their property. If you’re looking to borrow 90% or 95% there are only a very few expensive deals around.

However, under the scheme, if you have a deposit of between 5% and 20%, mortgage lenders will be
able to buy a guarantee from the government that will compensate them if you default on your mortgage. So, in other words, with some of the risk removed, your mortgage company should be able to lend you the money to cover 90-95% of the purchase price of a property.

Some key advantages of the scheme:

  • The mortgage guarantee is available to movers as well as first-time
  • It’s available on both newly built and existing properties
  • You can get it on properties worth up to £600,000


The NewBuy scheme is designed to help you buy a newly-built home by offering a mortgage of up to 95% of the property’s value.

It’s aimed at first-time buyers and those who already own a home but who only have a small deposit saved. It’s only available in England.

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