Afford your dream new home in England, Scotland, or Wales
Buying a property is incredibly challenging. However, there is support available for both first-time buyers and existing homeowners when you buy a new-build home.
Find out more about the different Government initiatives you can take advantage of, across different parts of the United Kingdom.
Once you’ve found the scheme that’s right for you, search our website for new-build homes here.
Stamp Duty Land Tax Discount for First-time Buyers
First-time buyers quality for complete exemption to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) in England on properties up to the value of £425,000. For any property greater than £425,000, first-time buyers will qualify for stamp duty relief at 5%, up to the value of £625,000. If a first-time buyer is purchasing a home for more than £625,000, then there will be no stamp duty relief at all, with the rates and thresholds of stamp duty being the same as any other home mover.
Here is an example of the stamp duty owed if you are a first-time buyer looking to purchase a property for £500,000.
-0% on the first £425,000 £0
-5% on the remaining £75,000 £3,750
-Total Stamp Duty Land Tax £3,750
For existing homeowners, the minimum threshold for paying Stamp Duty Land Tax is as follows.
-For properties up to £250,000 0% SDLT
-For properties between £250,001 and £925,000 5% SDLT
-For properties between £925,001 and £1.5million 10% SDLT
-For properties over £1.5million 12% SDLT
Here is an example of the stamp duty owed if you are homeowner and you buy a house for £295,000.
-0% on the first £250,000 £0
-5% on the final £45,000 £2,250
-Total Stamp Duty Land Tax £2,250
Mortgage Guarantee Scheme
The government’s mortgage guarantee scheme was announced in the 2021 budget and is scheduled to run until 30th June 2025.
It is designed to increase the availability of 95% LTV mortgages from participating lenders to credit-worthy customers.
-The scheme is open to first-time buyers and homeowners.
-Using the scheme, you can get a mortgage with only a 5% deposit.
-A repayment mortgage is required for between 91% and 95% of the value of the property.
-You can buy any type of property (new-build or older property), as long as it costs less than £600,000.
-Applicants ought to have a good credit rating and a secure, regular income.
The guarantee compensates mortgage lenders for a portion of net losses suffered in the event of repossession. The guarantee applies to 80% of the purchase value of the guaranteed property, covering 95% of these net losses. The lender therefore retains a 5% risk in the portion of losses covered by the guarantee. This ensures that the lender retains some risk in every loan they arrange.
Find out more about the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme here.
Shared Ownership enables you to buy an initial share (between 10% and 75% market value) of a property and pay rent on the remainder to the housing provider. Shared ownership properties are always leasehold.
You can either get a mortgage for the share you are buying or pay for it outright with savings. You will then pay a discounted rent on the owner’s share. At a later date, you can increase your share in the property, reducing the amount of rent you pay. This is called ‘staircasing’, allowing you to climb to up to 100% of the property value.
A new model of Shared Ownership was launched by the government in 2021. The changes include:
- A reduction in size of the minimum share you can purchase from 25% of a property’s value to 10%. You will still be required to purchase the maximum share you can afford.
- A new 10-year period where your housing provider will be required to support you with the cost of essential maintenance and repairs to your home.
- The lowering of the size of the minimum share you can purchase through staircasing, from 10% to 5% of a property’s market value.
- A new form of staircasing which allows you to purchase an extra 1% of your home every year.
- More control for you over when you sell your home.
While the new model Shared Ownership homes are available on the market, the old model Shared Ownership homes are also still available. We advise you check carefully which model of Shared Ownership you are applying for.
You will be eligible for buying a home though Shared Ownership if:
- Your household income is £80,000 a year or less outside of London or £90,000 a year or less when buying in London.
- You are a first-time buyer or you used to own a home but cannot afford to buy one now that meets your needs.
- You are an existing shared owner and looking to move.
Find out more about Shared Ownership here.
Local first-time buyers and key workers can get onto the property ladder in the places where they live and work. Only available in England, homes in the scheme are offered at a discount of at least 30% compared to the market price, with the discount going up to as much as 50% in some areas.
The discount applies to the home forever, being passed on to the next buyers, and the next.
First Homes is due to conclude in November 2023.
To be eligible for the First Homes scheme you must be
- 18 or older
- A first-time buyer
- Able to get a mortgage for at least half the price of the home
- Buying the home as part of a household where total income is no more than £80,000 per year (£90,000 in London).
Local councils may set further eligibility conditions. They may also prioritise First Homes discounts to:
- essential workers
- people who already live in the area
- people on lower incomes
To apply for a First Home, you need to contact the developer who is building new homes in your area and tell them you want to buy a First Home. First Homes are only available on a limited number of plots on new developments. Or you can contact the relevant estate agent if you are looking to buy a First Home from a previous First Homes buyer.
Find out more about the First Homes Scheme here.
Lifetime ISA (LISA)
If you are aged between 18 and 39 and resident in the UK, you can open a Lifetime ISA and use it to either buy your own home or save for later on in life.
With a LISA you can save up to £4,000 a year and the government will add a 25% bonus on each new payment you make. And if you are buying with a partner who also has a LISA, you can combine your savings and government bonuses.
The requirements of the scheme for buying a home are as follows:
- You must be aged 18-39 and a first-time buyer.
- The property you buy cannot exceed £450,000.
- You must buy your property with a mortgage.
- The property you buy must be your main residence.
- You must use a conveyancer or solicitor when making your property purchase, as they will receive the funds directly from the ISA provider.
- You must buy the property at least 12 months after you open the Lifetime ISA and start making savings.
Find out more about the Lifetime ISA here.
Help to Buy – Wales: Equity Loan Phase 3 Extension
The Help to Buy – Wales home ownership scheme has been extended from 1st April 2023 to March 2025. The scheme helps with the purchase of a new-build home up to £300,000, bought through a registered Help to Buy – Wales builder.
How it works
The Welsh Government provides a shared equity loan of up to 20% of the purchase price of a new-build home in Wales, up to a figure of £300,000. Homebuyers will be required to provide a 5% deposit and take out a repayment mortgage to cover the remaining amount.
Find out more about Help to Buy – Wales here.
Shared Ownership – Wales
Shared Ownership – Wales helps you to buy an initial share of between 25% to 75% of the value of a property in Wales with a repayment mortgage, paying rent on the remaining share. The scheme is available to you if you have a combined household income of £60,000 or less each year or if you are unable to buy a property suitable for your family size on the open market. Only homes from participating landlords are eligible for the scheme.
Find out more about the qualification criteria for Shared Ownership – Wales, here.
Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT)
In Scotland, first-time buyers can benefit from Land and Buildings Transaction Tax relief. The nil rate band of LBTT is available on a dwelling in Scotland up to the value of £175,000. Thereafter and on properties up to the value of £250,000, the LBTT rate is 2%. The bands and rates for LBTT for first-time buyers on properties above £250,000, remain the same as for all other home buyers.
For existing homeowners, the nil rate of LBTT is valid on a property purchase price up to £145,000.
The rates of LBTT after that are as follows:
-For properties between £145,001 and £250,000 2% LBTT
-For properties between £250,001 and £325,000 5% LBTT
-For properties between £325,001 and £750,000 10% LBTT
-For properties over £750,000 12% LBTT
Find out more about the rates of LBTT in Scotland, here.
LIFT Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) Scheme
If you can’t afford to buy your own home on the open market in Scotland, you can apply for the Low-cost Initiative for First-time Byers (LIFT) Open Market Share Equity (OMSE) scheme.
The LIFT Open Market Shared Equity Scheme has now closed for 2023/24 as the budget has been fully utilised. The scheme will not be taking any new applications until a decision has been made on budgets for 2024/25.
Find out more about the LIFT Open Market Shared Equity Scheme (OMSE) scheme here.