Homes England confirmed last week that there would be more time for Help to Buy with a month’s extension to the practical completion deadline. Here’s what that means…
Practical completion deadline
The practical completion deadline for the current Help to Buy scheme will be extended to the end of March. This is an extension of one month to allow for the disruption to the house building industry caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. Initially there was a first longstop date of 28th February 2021, with the practical completion deadline having been extended from the end of December. But Homes England confirm this will not be enforced. Instead, a further extra month has been given to house builders to help them reach build completion on their current equity loan transactions. Practical completions can now be done at any point up to and including the last date of March: 31st March.
Legal completion dates
Legal completion deadline dates remain the same for those who reserved a new home using Help to Buy from July 2020. This date remains as 31st March 2021. However, for those home buyers who reserved with Help to Buy before 30th June 2020, they have been given an extra two months. This is because this group would have likely experienced significant delays due to the first national lockdown, and as such their legal completion deadline can be extended to 31st May 2021.
New Help to Buy scheme coming
There are no plans for any further extensions to the current version of the scheme and we can expect the new version of Help to Buy to come into play from 1st April 2021. The new Help to Buy scheme will run from 2021 until 2023. Here’s a recap of what that scheme will look like.
- Only first-time buyers will be able to apply for the loan under the new scheme, and the loan must be used towards buying a new home.
- The amount available to borrow will remain the same. First-time buyers will be able to borrow up to 20% (40% in London) of the cost of a new-build home.
- First-time buyers will be required to pay a minimum 5% deposit for the home, using a help to buy mortgage to fund the remaining cost of the property.
- There will be regional price caps introduced, which means that homes eligible for the loan will need to fall below the maximum price cap listed. The price caps across the country are:
North East – £186,100
North West – £224,400
Yorkshire & The Humber – £228,100
East Midlands – £261,900
West Midlands – £255,600
East of England – £407,400
London – £600,000
South East – £437,600
South West – £349,000
Although we are not yet in April, any first-time buyers wanting to use the Help to Buy: Equity Loan (2021-2023) can currently reserve a new home under the scheme. However, they will not be able to be handed the keys and move into the property until after 1st April 2021 when the scheme officially starts.
Are you a first-time buyer keen to get started with the new Help to Buy scheme? You can begin your new-build home search with us by browsing a selection of properties from new developments across the country. Start your search here.