Help To Buy Mortgages

You may be able to get financial help through a Help to Buy home ownership scheme if you live in England and can’t afford to buy a home. Wales and Scotland have different schemes.

There are 4 types of Help to Buy schemes to consider:

  1. Help to Buy equity loans
  2. shared ownership
  3. NewBuy
  4. Help to Buy mortgage guarantees

1 Help to Buy equity loans

Help to Buy equity loans are open to both first-time buyers and home movers on new-build homes worth up to £600,000.

You will not be able to sub-let your home if you use this scheme.

How it works

With a Help to Buy equity loan:

  • you’ll need to contribute at least 5% of the property price as a deposit
  • the government will give you a loan for up to 20% of the price
  • you’ll need a mortgage of up to 75% to cover the rest

Example

For a property worth £200,000           Amount           Percentage

Cash deposit                                       £10,000           5%

Equity loan                                         £40,000           20%

Your mortgage                                    £150,000         75%

If the home in the table above sold for £210,000, you’d get £168,000 (80%, from your mortgage and the cash deposit) and pay back £42,000 on the loan (20%). You’d need to pay off your mortgage with your share of the money.

Equity loan fees

You won’t be charged loan fees for the first 5 years of owning your home.

In the 6th year, you’ll be charged a fee of 1.75% of the loan’s value. After this, the fee will increase every year. The increase is worked out by using the Retail Prices Index plus 1%.

Your Help to Buy agent will contact you before the fees start, to set up monthly payments with your bank. You’ll also be sent a statement about your loan each year.

Fees don’t count towards paying back the equity loan.

Selling your home and paying back the loan

The home will be in your name, which means you can sell it at any time. You’ll have to pay back the equity loan when you sell your home or at the end of your mortgage period - whichever comes first.

You can also pay back some of your equity loan without selling your home. You can pay back either 10% or 20% or the total amount, so long as the loan is worth at least 10% of the value of your home.

Talk to your lender and Help to Buy agent if you want to pay the loan back in full.

2 Shared ownership schemes

Shared ownership schemes are provided through housing associations. You buy a share of your home (between 25% and 75% of the home’s value) and pay rent on the remaining share.

You’ll need to take out a mortgage to pay for your share of the home’s purchase price.

Shared ownership properties are always leasehold.

Eligibility

You can buy a home through shared ownership if:

  • your household earns £60,000 a year or less
  • you’re a first-time buyer (or you used to own a home, but can’t afford to buy one now)
  • you rent a council or housing association property

Older people

You can get help from another Help to Buy scheme called ‘Older People’s Shared Ownership’ if you’re aged 55 or over.

It works in the same way as the general 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.

Your local Help to Buy agent can help you.

People with disabilities

Home Ownership for People with Long-Term Disabilities (HOLD) can help you buy any home that’s for sale on a shared ownership basis if you have a long-term disability.

You can only apply for HOLD if the properties available in the other Help to Buy schemes don’t meet your needs, eg you need a ground-floor property. Your local Help to Buy agent can help you.

Buying more shares

You can buy more shares in your home any time after you become the owner. This is known as staircasing.

The cost of your new share will depend on how much your home is worth when you want to buy the share. If property prices in your area have gone up, you’ll pay more than for your first share. If your home has dropped in value, your new share will be cheaper.

The housing association will get the property valued and let you know the cost of your new share. You’ll have to pay the valuer’s fee.

Selling your home

If you own 100% of your home, you can sell it yourself. When you put it up for sale, the housing association has the right to buy the property back first. This is known as ‘first refusal’ and the housing association has this right for 21 years after you fully own the home.

If you own a share of your home, the housing association has the right to find a buyer for it.

Applying for a shared ownership scheme

To buy a home through a shared ownership scheme contact the Help to Buy agent in the area you want to live.

3 New Buy

NewBuy lets you buy a newly built home with a deposit of only 5% of the purchase price.

Eligibility

To be eligible for NewBuy, your new home must be:

a new build – being sold for the first time or for the first time in its current form (eg a new flat that used to be part of a house)

priced £500,000 or less

  • your main home (you can’t use NewBuy to buy a second home or a buy-to-let property)
  • owned fully by you (you can’t use NewBuy for shared ownership or shared equity purchases)
  • built by a builder taking part in the scheme

To be eligibile you must be either:

  • a UK citizen
  • someone with the right to remain indefinitely in the UK

You don’t have to be a first-time buyer and there’s no limit on your level of income. But you can’t use NewBuy with any other publicly funded mortgage scheme.

How to apply

You apply for a mortgage from an approved lender. The lender will check that you can afford to repay it, as they would for any other type of mortgage.

You could get a mortgage of up to 95% of the purchase price if the lender is satisfied and you meet all the criteria above.

4 Help to Buy mortgage guarantees

The Help to Buy mortgage guarantee helps you buy a home with a deposit of 5% of the purchase price.

The guarantee is provided to your lender - not to you.

Eligibility

To qualify for a Help to Buy mortgage guarantee, the home you want to buy must:

  • sell for £600,000 or less
  • not be a shared ownership or shared equity purchase
  • not be a second home
  • not rent the property out

The property can be newly built or already existing.

You don’t have to be a first-time buyer and there’s no limit on your level of income. But you can’t use Help to Buy with any other publicly funded mortgage scheme, or an interest-only mortgage.

How to apply

You can apply to most of  lenders listed on our A-Z of mortgage lender or contact your independent financial adviser (IFA).