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What is help to buy?

Help to Buy is a Government initiative to help First-Time-Buyers enter the property market. It enables buyers to purchase a new property, funded by a mortgage and with help from Homes England, by way of a 20% deposit

Your mortgage and deposit must cover a combined minimum of 80% of the total purchase price. The rest of the purchase price will be paid by an equity loan from Homes England.

Who is eligible?

Equity loans are available to first time buyers as well as homeowners looking to move. The home you want to buy must be newly built with a price tag of up to £600,000.

You won’t be able to sublet this home or enter a part exchange deal on your old home. You must not own any other property at the time you buy your new home with a Help to Buy: Equity Loan.

What’s Involved?

The buyer still takes out a mortgage on which you make repayments in the normal way, however the Government assists your buying journey and contributes to the total purchase price.
Your mortgage and deposit must cover a combined minimum of 80% of the total purchase price (or 60% of total purchase price in London). The rest of the purchase price will be paid for with an equity loan from Homes England.

The Help to Buy scheme is fantastic for those not on the property ladder. For example, someone who has struggled with deposit requirements, but who could otherwise sustain a mortgage, Help to Buy is perfect for. In fact, buying property is now often cheaper than renting property.


Buyers must provide a deposit of a minimum of 5% of the full purchase price of the home bought under this scheme.

Example to the right: for a home with a £200,000 price tag

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

ARE THERE ON-going Fees?

There is a small, initial monthly management fee of £1 which is payable by direct debit from the start of Homes England loan until it is repaid. After the first five years you will pay an additional fee as interest of 1.75%, rising annually by the increase (if any) in the UK Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 1%. The interest is calculated on your property purchase price.

The loan itself is repayable after 25 years, or on the sale of the property if earlier.

What Happens If I Want to Sell my Property?

When you sell your Help to Buy home (unless you have chosen to repay your equity loan earlier), you must repay the Help to Buy loan from a pro-rata share of the sale proceeds.

For example, if Homes England assisted your purchase with a 20% contribution, your repayment will be 20% of the total market value when it is sold.

What Happens if I Want to Pay Off my Help to Buy loan? 

You can pay off your Help to Buy loan at any stage you wish. There are no penalties for paying the loan off sooner. For example, if you bought a new build property and within a matter of months were able to pay off the 20% loan you can do that without redemption fees.

The 20% you pay back to the Government will be based on the market value of your property at the time of wanting to pay back the loan which may require a professional valuation.

 You will then own your property outright and the Government will no longer have a participating interest in your property. As soon as you pay off the Help to Buy loan you will own the property outright if there are no further mortgages or other property loans.