Government's Help to Buy scheme is changing for potential purchasers
By Matt Hall | 17th April 2020
Those planning to take advantage of the Government's Help to Buy scheme to purchase a new home are being encouraged to start their online research now.
Longer conveyancing times and a slowing down of build rates due to coronavirus means it may take longer than you think to move, says Gloucester-based Newland Homes.
The Government is changing the Help to Buy eligibility criteria from next Spring. Under changes scheduled to be introduced from April 2021, a Help to Buy equity loan will only be available to first time buyers. In addition, regional price caps will be introduced to sales prices.
For the South West this means a reduction by over a quarter of a million pounds - from £600,000 down to a maximum purchase price of £349,000.
Purchases have to be legally completed by the end of March 2021 to be eligible for Help to Buy in its current form, plus, your new home must be built and certified by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) by the end of December 2020.
Erica Povey, field sales manager for Newland Homes, said: "If you consider the average length of time it takes from starting to market your property through to legal completion can be up to six months in a normal sales market, we encourage people to start making plans now.
"Moving house is not a decision to be entered into lightly, but as we are all spending more time within our homes, think about whether it works for you and your family. If not, start researching your next move."
The current Help to Buy equity loan scheme was introduced seven years ago, in April 2013, with the aim of improving affordability for potential homeowners.
Help to Buy is available on all new build properties up to £600,000 and lends buyers up to 20 per cent of the cost of their new home through an equity loan from the Government, which is interest free for the first five years.
More than 220,000 properties have been purchased under Help to Buy as of March 2019.
Ms Povey added: "Newland Homes has created a virtual marketing suite online, full of virtual tours, so you can browse from your armchair.
"Our sales teams are working remotely and are available to answer any questions, plus there's also access to our new build specialist financial advisors and a wealth of information about ways to help you move.
"Please talk to us; we're on hand to answer any questions you may have about your next move."
The amendments to the Help to Buy criteria next year means that some properties currently eligible for the scheme will no longer qualify, such as Newland Homes' last remaining low carbon homes in the desirable village of Twyning, priced from £525,000, which are built and ready to move straight in to.
Four bedroom detached homes at Newland Orchard in Whitminster, priced from £455,000, will also no longer qualify for the scheme.
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