Ben HaywardDecember 16th

Thinking of trying to get that first foot on the property ladder? Well, the UK government's new Help to Buy scheme for first-time buyers opens today!

Homes England has oddicially opened applications for its new Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme today, Wednesday December 16th.

The scheme gives first-time buyers the opportunity to apply for new-build homes from 2021-2023, with the potential to borrow up to 20% of the cost of a house, rising to 40% for those in London.

So, what will you need to qualify? Well, first up you’ll need a deposit of at least 5%, with an agreement for a mortgage to the value of 25% or higher in order to make up the remaining amount.

You’ll also be required to show that you can afford the monthly fee and interest payments and that you don’t own any other properties.

There are also some eligibility requirements on the house you wish to purchase, which must be newly built and can cost up to £600,000, and you won’t be allowed to sublet or rent out the property once you’ve bought it. 

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, first-time buyers will now be able to reserve their homes and you could be getting your keys and moving in from as soon as April 1st 2021 (honestly).

It’s probably worth remembering that if you were to sell the house in the future, Homes England would have an entitlement to some of the  proceeds, taking the same percentage of the profits as what they put in.

Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick said: "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."

Will German, director of Help to Buy at Homes England, added: "Help to Buy has already helped more than 270,000 people into homeownership and 82% are first-time buyers.

"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 when there are fewer options open to them.

"Housing, like most sectors, has experienced a slowdown during the Covid crisis.

"But Help to Buy continues to give homebuilders the confidence to keep on building at a more crucial time than ever."

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