There is a wide range of new government schemes available. These are designed to help people get on the property ladder. Some existing schemes have been updated recently too, so we have put together a list of some of the most popular Government schemes. See how you may qualify. Get quick conveyancing quotes wherever you are in the UK.
This list is not exhaustive. These are the most popular and newly updated schemes.
Government Help to Buy Scheme
The new Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme was launched on 1 April 2021. It is designed for first-time buyers and includes regional property price limits to ensure the scheme reaches people who need it most. This new scheme will run until March 2023 and like the previous one, the government will lend homebuyers up to 20% of the cost of a new build home, and up to 40% in London.
This scheme must be used to buy your main residence and cannot be used to buy a second home or a buy-to-let property.
Buyers need a deposit of at least 5% of the purchase price. You can borrow 20% (40% in London) of the purchase price. This loan is interest free for five years. You begin paying interest in year 6. The loan payments are interest only, so you don’t actually reduce the amount you owe.
You can repay all or part of your equity loan at any time. A part payment must be at least 10% of what your home is worth at the time of repayment.
This scheme is available in England only.
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The First Homes scheme, launched in June 2021, gives first-time buyers the opportunity to buy their home at a 30% discount.
What you should know about First Homes:
- It’s only available to first time buyers in England buying a new property.
- Buyers must have a household income of less than £80,000 (or £90,000 in London).
- The scheme is designed to help people get on the housing ladder. Eligibility criteria is set by the local authority so areas will differ. For example priority may be given to local key workers.
- There are only a handful of developments that offer First Homes. However, more sites are due to launch across the country with a further 1500 homes for sale by the end of 2021.
Help to Buy: Mortgage Guarantee scheme
The government launched the new Mortgage Guarantee in the budget 2021. It is aimed to help buyers with a 5% deposit. The scheme runs until the end of 2022.
Here are the main features:
- This scheme allows you to get a mortgage with just a 5% deposit
- The government has promised to underwrite 15% of the mortgage in the event that you default. As a result, mortgage lenders feel confident enough to offer you a 95% mortgage
- This scheme applies to all types of properties (new build and old) that cost less than £600,000
- First time buyers AND existing homeowners can apply
- You must have a regular income and a good credit rating.
Right To Buy/Right To Acquire 2022
This scheme is designed so that council tenants can buy their council home at a discount. Approximately 2 million homes were sold in this way over the last 30 years.
- The Right to Buy scheme assists eligible council and housing association tenants in England to buy their home with. There are discounts of up to £112,800 (£84,600 outside London).
- The Right to Acquire is a scheme currently offered in England. It is for housing association tenants who don’t qualify for Right to Buy. Discounts are slightly smaller.
To qualify for either scheme, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. The size of the discount varies depending on where you live and the market value of the property you want to buy.
- Tenants who lived in a council owned home before it transferred to another landlord such as a housing association, might be eligible to buy their home under the ‘Preserved’ Right to Buy or Right to Acquire schemes.
- Usually, tenants must have rented from the public sector (i.e. local council, housing association, armed services, NHS or foundation trust) for three years before they can buy under either of these schemes.
- The three years can be non-consecutive
- In Northern Ireland: this scheme is called the House Sales Scheme and is for tenants who rent from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive or a housing association.
- In Wales: Right to Acquire and Right to Buy ended to all Council and housing association tenants on 26 January 2019.
With the Right to Buy scheme, the maximum discounts available are:
- £116,200 in London (or 70% of the property’s value, whichever is lower).
- £87,200 in rest of England (or 70% of the property’s value, whichever is lower).
- £24,000 in Northern Ireland (or 60%, whichever is lower)
Wales ended the Right to Buy in January 2019 to preserve the stock of social housing. However the Right to Buy scheme will close for tenants of registered housing associations in Northern Ireland on 28 August 2022. But this does not affect tenants of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.
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The Government is now funding a new model for Shared Ownership through the Affordable Homes Programme. This will run between 2021-26. Up to 50% of homes delivered through this programme will be for the new model of Shared Ownership.
Shared ownership allows buyers who are able to secure a mortgage to buy a share (usually 25%-75%) of a property. They would pay rent on the remaining share to the housing association or private developer. Rent is charged at a discounted rate (usually 2.75% of the property value per year).
The main differences are:
- The initial stake was reduced from 25% to 10%
- There is now a 10 year repair during which the shared owner will receive support from their landlord to pay for essential repairs.
- There is a new 1% gradual staircasing model. This enables shared owners to staircase in smaller instalments of as little as 1%, down from 10%. with heavily reduced fees.
- Shared owners have more control when they come to sell their home; they will be able to take control of the resales process from the landlord at an earlier point, giving them greater influence over the sale.
- The new model should be available to purchase from 2022 (a limited number of homes will be available before that).
You may be able to buy a home through Shared Ownership in England if:
- Your household earns £80,000 a year or less / £90,000 a year or less in London
- You are a first-time buyer, you owned a home but can’t afford to buy one now or are an existing shared owner looking to move.
Under this scheme you can buy a newly built home or an existing one through resale programmes via housing associations. Youmust take out a mortgage to pay for your share, or fund this through savings. Shared Ownership properties are always leasehold.
Only military personnel will be given priority over other groups, however, councils with their own shared ownership home-building programmes have other priority groups, based on local housing needs.
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Hold Scheme – For People With Disabilities
If you have a long-term disability, the HOLD scheme in England could help you buy a home on a shared ownership basis. You could buy between 10% and 75% of the home’s value and pay rent on the remaining share.
The HOLD scheme is only available if the homes available in the other shared ownership schemes don’t meet your needs.
You may qualify for a home through the HOLD scheme if you have a long-term disability. You must meet the following criteria:
- Your household earns £80,000 a year or less outside London, or £90,000 a year or less in London
- you are a first-time buyer; you owned a home but can’t afford to buy one now or are an existing shared owner looking to move
Military personnel are given priority over other groups. However, councils with their own shared ownership home-building programmes may have other priority groups.
Older People’s Shared Ownership
This is for people aged over 55. It works in the same way as the Shared Ownership scheme, but you can only buy up to 75% of your home. Once you own 75% you won’t have to pay rent on the remaining share.
These are just some of the most popular Government schemes to help people get on the property ladder. For a full list see here.
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