What Help is Available for First-time Home Buyers in the UK?
Buying your first home can seem daunting, especially now. But first-time homebuyers will be pleased to learn they still have several money-saving options available following the UK’s recently extended Help to Buy scheme.
Help to Buy ISA
This is a tax-free savings account and it’s quite convenient. The government will add another £50, up to £3,000, to your account for every £200 you save. This cash will then be given to the solicitor when you move into your new home. Unfortunately, now this option is not available to new savers, but those who already have accounts can continue the savings-match scheme until November 2029.
Help to Buy equity loan
If you put down a 5% deposit, the Government will give you a loan for 20% of the home’s value, 40% if you are buying in London. This loan works in tandem with a typical mortgage and should be used exclusively to purchase a new building property.
If you are between 18 and 39, you can take advantage of this savings opportunity. With this scheme, you can save tax-free and get a hefty bonus of up to £32,000 to buy your first home. You’ll have the chance to save up to £4,000 a year and the government will throw in an additional 25% on top. This is the ideal option for young people looking to start a family and start off on the right foot.
For those looking only for a small share of real estate, you consider co-owning a home. With this option, you can buy part of a property and pay rent on the remaining portion. As a co-owner with a housing association, you can buy 25-75% of the property, though you’ll be restricted to specific ones.
“First dibs” in London
The city of London has been working on a scheme that will limit sales of new-build homes up to £350,000 to UK buyers only for three months before they are marketed overseas. This gives UK citizens a chance to get in on London’s hot real estate scene and save a piece of the highly sought-after space for themselves.
Starter home initiative
Under this program, 200,000 new homes in England will be sold exclusively to first-time buyers at a 20% discount. To participate, you’ll need to register on the Starter Home website in order to receive program updates. This program sounds quite appealing, but do consider the limitations it may have in terms of the availability of homes in the zone you want to live in.
As you can see, there are many home buying options in the UK. And as the pandemic has cooled the market a bit, you may be able to profit by taking advantage of some of these programs and find an attractive deal for yourself.