Definition of UK Help to Buy mortgage scheme

There are a number of Government schemes to help individuals who are unable to afford to buy a home, two of which are help to buy equity loans and help to buy mortgage guarantees.

Help to buy equity loans are available in England to all buyers for new builds with a purchase price of up to £600,000. The property must be the individual’s only property and cannot be sublet. The loan from the Government is for up to 20 percent of the purchase price, dependent on the individual having at least 5 percent of the purchase price as a deposit and a mortgage of up to 75 percent to cover the rest. There are different home ownership schemes in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. [1]


finding lenders on the Help to Buy scheme

In October 2013, only two lenders, Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland, had confirmed they were taking part in the scheme from the outset. HSBC was due to join the scheme later in 2013 and Virgin Money and Aldermore, a small lender, were planning to launch products in 2014.

Critics of Help to Buy said it would inflate house prices making house prices even more unaffordable. In addition, they said the scheme failed to deal with the root cause of the problem which was a lack of housebuilding.

The chancellor George Osborne said the scheme would be in place for three years but said the Bank of England would have powers to put the brakes on should there be signs of a bubble emerging in the property market.

View: Help to Buy topic page.


Help to Buy in the news

In the UK Budget Day 2015 announcement, first-time buyers are to receive up to £3,000 to help them get on to the housing ladder through a new Help To Buy savings product.

The UK chancellor said that for every £200 saved by buyers for a deposit, the government would add £50 — equivalent to a 25 per cent subsidy for first-time buyers.

The product will be available from this autumn. The maximum initial deposit will be £1,000, with maximum monthly deposits of £200, meaning it would take savers four and a half years to build up £15,000 in savings — equivalent to a 10 per cent deposit for an average British home.

The product is the latest in a suite of measures all badged as Help To Buy, including equity loans and mortgage guarantees. [2]

FT Articles & Analysis

No articles are associated with this term