The chiming of the New Year and advent of a new decade marks the countdown to the end of Help to Buy in its current guise. Existing buyers will have just 15 months as from April 2021 only first-time buyers will be able to access a scheme that has helped thousands get a foot on the property ladder or move into their next home.
Michele Rose, Regional Sales Director at Bloor Homes Midlands, said: “The popularity of Help to Buy spans the entire country and here in the Midlands a large number of our buyers are taking advantage of the scheme.
“It’s not just first time buyers that the scheme has helped; many house hunters have used Help to Buy to access larger properties, perhaps skipping that first rung on the ladder or to take a second step and move into a home that better suits their needs.
“Since its introduction in April 2013 and the end of last year, 211,000 homes were bought using Help to Buy, and its popularity is on the increase, with 52,404 homes bought in the year to 31 March 2019 using the scheme, that’s a 9% increase on the same period the previous year.
“With Help to Buy for existing homeowners coming to an end and price caps being introduced on the new build properties for which the scheme can be used, we are urging anyone considering taking advantage of the scheme to make the move to their next new home to act soon.”
Help to Buy is a government-backed scheme that enables buyers to purchase a property with a 5% deposit and 75% mortgage. The remaining 20% of the purchase price is provided as an equity loan, which is interest free for the first five years. From year six, interest of 1.75% is payable and will rise annually by RPI inflation plus 1%. Help to Buy for first-time buyers is also currently set to end in 2023.
Michele continues: “The New Year is a time for us to take stock of where we are and set goals for where we want to be.
“Many of us set ourselves unrealistic resolutions that have fallen by the wayside come February, leaving us with a sense of failure and disappointment.
“The key to success is planning. Break down your goals into achievable, short-term targets, track your progress and reward yourself when it’s going well.
“If you’re looking to make the big move and take your first step onto the property ladder, or move to a new home this year, we have the following advice to make sure your plans don’t get de-railed by February.”
- Start by tracking your monthly spending so you can get a feel for the average amounts you spend on food, bills and other expenses each month
- Draw up a budget so you can clearly see where your outgoings are and what you might realistically be able to save
- Set a savings goal, start saving diligently, even if it’s only a little every month. It’s better to start low and then add any spare money you have at the end of the month
- Automate your savings, then you don’t have to think about it. Set up an automatic transfer or download an app to help you; some apps even round up your purchases to the nearest pound, saving the extra pennies into an account
- Use more cash. Visit the cashpoint and take out your weekly allowance and then use this to pay for everyday items; using ‘real money’ registers far more than using a card
- When it comes to household bills, make sure you shop around for the best deals – it’s an easy way to save hundreds of pounds each year
- Take advantage of the Government-backed Help to Buy scheme before it comes to an end and before price caps are introduced. Here in the East Midlands, Help to Buy will only be available on new build properties up to the value of £261,900.
“Whatever your New Year resolutions, with careful planning and a little dedication, 2020 could be the year you make your dreams a reality.”