Help To Buy Properties scheme

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With the Help to Buy scheme, you can get on the property ladder without having a huge deposit or any savings.

How to buy a property with help to buy properties?

It’s a government scheme that provides you with an equity loan. You’ll need a 5% deposit and come up with the remaining 75% on your own. 

What is Help to Buy from the UK Government? 

Help to Buy is a government scheme that gives first-time buyers the opportunity to get on the property ladder with a low deposit or to buy a property with almost no money. It’s aimed at people who would otherwise struggle with the financial commitment of buying.

You can apply to the “Help to Buy” scheme if you’re buying your 1st home or if you are buying your 2nd home as far as that is worth up to £600,000. The scheme doesn’t cover shared ownership properties (where you buy part of a property), or properties in Wales and Scotland.

Why was “Help to Buy” Introduced?

It was introduced by the UK government in 2013 to kickstart the housing market after the financial crisis when house prices were falling and economic growth was slow.

The idea was simple: put more money into people’s pockets so they could buy houses, which would then boost economic activity and confidence, with knock-on effects for employment and wages.

But there have been questions about whether the scheme is still needed now that Britain’s economy is growing faster than expected, unemployment has fallen and house prices are rising again, especially in London and other major cities.

help to buy property floorplan

When was Help to Buy Activated

Help to Buy was launched in April 2013 and has been a key factor in getting first-time buyers into the property market.

The scheme is available on new build homes only and you must have at least 5% of the purchase price saved for the deposit. Click here to learn more.

There are two variants of Help to Buy

Help to Buy Equity Loan: This requires an income of over £60,000 for those buying houses worth up to £500,000, or £90,000 for those buying new build flats and houses worth up to £250,000. 

Help to Buy ISA: This doesn’t require any specific income limit and gives savers 12 months of interest-free government loans if they use their savings to buy a property worth up to £250,000 which can then be used towards your deposit.

Can anyone Buy a Help to Buy Property?

Help to Buy is available on new-build homes in England and Wales, but not on build-to-rent properties. The scheme has been extended until 2021, but there are no guarantees it will continue beyond then.

Who is eligible for Help to Buy?

To be able to apply for the help to buy scheme, you must be over 18 years old and do not own another property already; otherwise, you won’t be eligible for Help to Buy at all. You also have to have a household income before tax of less than £80,000 per year.

How to buy a second home with help to buy scheme?

A second home can’t be purchased through Help to Buy if your existing home is rented out or has home insurance. It is not possible to use Help to Buy if you are investing in buy-to-let properties or you intend to own any other property after you buy your Help to Buy property.

What are the Criteria to Apply for Help to Buy?

If you’re thinking of applying for “Help to Buy” to buy your first home, there are some things you need to keep in mind.

You’ll need to: 

  • pay a minimum deposit of 5% of the property purchase price
  • arrange a repayment mortgage of at least 25% of the property purchase price

You can then borrow an equity loan to cover from 5% and up to 20% of the property purchase price of your newly built home. If the property is in London, you can borrow up to 40%.

The equity loan percentage you borrow is used to calculate your interest and equity loan repayments.

An example here to make it easier to understand

Property purchase price

Equity loan percentage

Equity loan amount borrowed

Bought for £200,000

Borrowed 20%


The equity loan percentage used to calculate your interest and repayments is 20%

buy a property for sale with help to buy scheme

Can I Buy any Home with Help to Buy?

To put is simple, no, you can’t.

The Help to Buy scheme is a UK government incentive that gives you the opportunity to buy a property in certain circumstances. However, it’s important to note that it’s not applicable to all properties available on the real estate market or listed in property auctions.

If you’re looking to buy a new build property or an existing one, there are different types of Help to Buy schemes available. Click here to find out more.

Is it Worth Getting a Help to Buy Scheme?

If you’re struggling with your finances, getting a Help to Buy mortgage could be a good option.

You might want to consider using the Help to Buy scheme if:

  • You’re planning on buying your first home
  • You can’t afford a big deposit or don’t have enough savings for the 10% deposit you need for most mortgages
  • You don’t have any alternative sources of mortgage finance available

It is vital you carefully consider whether you can actually afford a help to buy property because they have such a large mortgage. In the future you may want to buy another home as an alternative property investment or perhaps invest more in your pension rather than property.

Help to Buy and Equity Loans

This allows you to purchase a new build property with just a 5% deposit and an equity loan from the government. The equity loan is interest-free for five years and then charged at 1% after this time. You can only use this scheme on new build houses priced up to £600,000.

Help to Buy Equity Loan Calculator

When you use the affordability calculator for the Help to Buy Equity Loan, you will be able to see what the monthly costs are. You can adjust the property value, interest rate, and mortgage length to see how this might affect your monthly expenses. However, to do this accurately you will need to know the value of the property which you can do by asking the developer or asking for a professional valuation survey.

Help to Buy Properties and Mortgages

This is designed for first-time buyers who want to buy a new build home with just a 5% deposit and no equity loan required. It’s also available on shared ownership properties up to 60% of market value. This means you could get 95% of your dream home with just a 5% initial payment.

Mortgage guarantees are available in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and some parts of England (including London). This type of scheme provides lenders with security against their mortgage repayments if something goes wrong, so they’re more willing to offer cheaper mortgages for first-time buyers on certain types of properties and offer stamp duty land tax, and land and buildings transaction tax refunds.

property seller and buyer shaking hands

Help to Buy Repayment

The government-backed equity loan is interest-free for five years, nonetheless, you’ll start repaying it in monthly instalments. When it comes to selling your house, you’ll need to pay back any outstanding equity loan within 30 years of buying it at its current market value. Once you’ve done this, any other profit from the sale is yours to keep.

Government Help to Buy Calculator

It works by providing an equity loan worth up to 20% of the value of your home (up to a maximum of £400,000), which you pay back when you sell your property or at the end of the mortgage term.

If you’re eligible, you can apply for Help to Buy from your solicitor or developer at any point during the buying process.

What will Replace Help to Buy in 2023?

The government announced in October 2018 that the Help to Buy: Equity Loan (2021-2023) scheme would be running from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2023. Help to Buy: Equity Loan is not going to be extended or replaced in the near future.

Why Would Help to Buy be Declined?

There are a number of reasons why Help to Buy could be declined. These include:

  1. You have a high rental income and a high rental yield
  2. You don’t have enough savings to buy a home
  3. You already own a property
  4. You don’t have a mortgage
  5. You can’t provide proof of income

What Happens after 5 years of Help to Buy?

In the first five years of the Help to Buy equity loan, the borrower does not have to pay any interest. As soon as the interest-free period has ended, he will be charged a 1.75% interest rate on the outstanding balance. Each year the fee will increase by an amount equal to RPI plus 1% and the borrower will only be responsible for repaying the interest, not the equity.

family man signing the contract to buy a property

Can I Sell my Help to Buy Property?

Yes, you can sell your Help to Buy property at any time.

If you sell the property within three years of buying it, you will still have to pay back some of the government loans. This is called the equity loan repayment charge.

  • The amount you repay depends on when you sell
  • If you sell within one year, you’ll have to pay back 20% of the loan (less any deposit)
  • If you sell between one and three years after purchase, you’ll have to pay back 10%
  • If it takes more than three years for sale, there is no charge on the loan

Do you Need a Solicitor to Pay off Help to Buy?

If you have bought a home through the government’s Help to Buy scheme, you may be able to take out a mortgage and use that to pay off your initial loan. However, it’s not clear whether you can do so without using a solicitor.

You can also use Help to Buy if you’re buying an existing property with tenants in situ  through the Right to Buy scheme but only if it’s been converted into a shared ownership home under the government’s Shared Ownership scheme.

If you’ve borrowed through Help To Buy but now want to repay your loan early, then it appears that there’s no legal requirement for you to use a solicitor or conveyancer.

Is it Better to Pay off Help to Buy Before Selling?

It’s not always a good idea to pay off Help to Buy. This is because it’s possible to move this debt around so that it can be attached to your next property.

If you want to move the loan onto your next home, you’ll need to do this before selling your current property. The easiest way to do this is by paying off the loan and then taking a new one out for the same amount with your new mortgage provider.

However, if you don’t want to move the debt from one place to another, then paying it off doesn’t make sense. You’ll still have an outstanding balance on the property and won’t be able to use Help to Buy again in the future.

Can I Sell Help to Buy Property Before 5 Years? 

Yes, you can sell your property before the 5 years are up. However, if you do, you’ll need to repay your loan with interest.

  • If you sell your Help to Buy home within the first year of owning it:

You’ll need to repay the government loan of 20% (of the full price) and any other costs associated with buying the property. You may also need to pay back any deposit that was not paid for by the government scheme.

  • If you sell your Help to Buy home after 1 year but before 2 years:

You’ll need to repay 15% of the full price from the sale and any other costs associated with buying the property.


Help To Buy helps you to buy a home. Whether you want to buy a home from new builds, or whether you want to move into an existing home and make it your own, Help To Buy gives you a hand. It does this by helping you with a loan from the government that helps you pay for up to 20% of the cost of your new home.

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Donnell Bailey

Property expert

Donnell is a property expert focusing on the property market, he looks at a combination of legislation, information from property managers, letting agents and market trends to produce information to help landlords.


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