Help to buy scheme 2014

Help to Buy is a series of Government schemes aimed at helping homebuyers without a large deposit to get a mortgage. Assistance is provided through either an equity loan or a mortgage guarantee.

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Help to Buy - Equity Loan

This scheme is aimed at helping first time buyers and homemovers with a deposit as small as 5 per cent to buy a new build property in England.

The Government will provide borrowers with a loan for 20 per cent of the property, meaning only a 75 per cent mortgage is required from a lender.

This scheme is available in England now until March 31, 2016.

Find out more about Help to Buy Equity Loans

Help to Buy - Mortgage Guarantee

This scheme is designed to help homeowners as well as first time buyers to purchase either a new build or an existing property in the UK with as little as 5 per cent deposit.

A mortgage of up to 95 per cent is required from a lender, of which the Government will guarantee the lender up to 15 per cent of the property’s value.

The Government guarantees officially apply from January 2014, but borrowers can already begin applying for and receiving the loans today.

Find out more about Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee

Help to Buy ISA

If you're a first-time buyer who is saving for a deposit, the Chancellor George Osborne has announced he will give you a helping hand.

In the Budget 2015, he unveiled the Help to Buy Isa that gives a bonus of £50 for every £200 saved.

Buyers can receive a maximum bonus of £3,000 on savings of £12,000. It means first-time buyers saving for a deposit of up to £15,000 are able to reach their target faster.

Find out more about Help to Buy ISA

Help to Buy (Scotland)

Backed by the Scottish Government, the scheme is designed to help people buy a new build home in Scotland from a participating home builder.

Open to all home buyers, not just first time buyers, and provides help of up to 20 per cent of the purchase price of a home without interest charges.

Find out more about Help to Buy Scotland

Help to Buy (Wales)

Backed by the Welsh Government, the scheme is designed to help people buy a new build home in Wales from a participating home builder.

Open to all home buyers, not just first time buyers, and provides help of up to 20 per cent of the purchase price of a home.

Find out more about Help to Buy Wales

Help to Buy (London)

Help to Buy Equity Loans are already open to both first-time buyers and home movers on new build homes in England with a purchase price up to £600,000.

Currently, if you're able to pay at least 5% the value of your home as a deposit, the government will lend you up to 20% of the rest of the value of the property, alongside your mortgage of up to 75%.

Equity Loan will be now available until 2021. And, to reflect the current property market in London, from early 2016 the government will increase the upper limit for the equity loan it gives new buyers within Greater London from 20% to 40%.

With London Help to Buy equity loan:

  • you'll need to contribute at least 5% of the property price as a deposit
  • the government will give you a loan for up to 40% of the price
  • you'll need a mortgage of up to 55% to cover the rest

Video Transcript

You decide you're ready to get on the housing ladder.

You've found your dream home, and it costs £150,000. You've worked hard to save up for a deposit and have £7,500 put away, which equates to 5% the value of the property:

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But until recently, this would not have been a big enough deposit to secure a mortgage. You'd have to continue saving until you'd amassed at least 10% of the value of the property – in this case £15,000.

Needing such a big deposit meant it just wasn't possible for many people to buy their own homes.

In order to overcome this problem, the Government introduced the ‘Help to Buy' scheme in October 2013. To qualify for the scheme you only need to save enough to cover 5% of the value of the property, rather than the 10% required for most mortgages.

There are two ways that the scheme can help you to buy your own home:

· By giving you an equity loan of up to the value of 20% of the property price


· By offering a guarantee to the lender so they can issue you with 95% mortgage

Equity Loans

With an equity loan, the Government provide a loan of up to 20% of the price of the property, meaning you may be able to buy a home that you would ordinarily not be able to afford.

There are a couple of conditions to the Equity Loan that are important to be aware of. Firstly, because it's an equity loan, the government owns 20% of your property until you have paid the loan back. Secondly, after a 5-year interest-free period, the government will start charging you fees for the loan until you repay it.  

Mortgage Guarantees

Under the Mortgage Guarantee pathway, the government offers a guarantee to banks and building societies to support them in giving you a 95% mortgage. However, this doesn't mean that the government would help you repay your mortgage if you find yourself in financial difficulty. Your home will still be repossessed if you don't keep up with the payments on your mortgage.

Eligibility Conditions

Here is a brief outline of eligibility conditions for the Equity Loan and Mortgage Guarantee.

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How do Equity Loans & Mortgage Guarantees compare?

We've illustrated how these two ‘Help to Buy' pathways compare below, with figures provided for a property valued at £150,000:

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How do Equity Loans & Mortgage Guarantee repayments compare?

There are two major points to consider here: interest rates and repayment.

As far as the interest rates are concerned, the deals offered by lenders as part of Help to Buy scheme are typically offered at around 4.99% for fixed rates. Assuming the total duration of your mortgage is 25 years, here is what your repayments would amount to in the first 2 years:

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As you can see, repayment amounts for the Equity Loan route are considerably lower, which is natural considering you're borrowing less.

However, you do have to bear in mind, that whilst you are repaying the money you've borrowed from the bank, the government still retains a 20% part of your home. Moreover, if your home grows in value, so would the share owned by the government:

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Ultimately, this means that if you decide to sell your home at any point before repaying your Equity Loan, you will have to give repay the government 20% of the price you sell the home for, even if it's more than the original sum that you borrowed.

That said, it also works the other way round and if your home were to depreciate, so would the value of the share government holds in it:

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In this instance, if you were to sell your home before you repaid your Equity Loan, you would pay the government back less than you originally borrowed.

Equity Loan Fees

Another thing to consider is the Equity Loan fees. These loans are offered interest free for the first five years, however in Year 6 of your mortgage you will be obligated to pay 1.75% of the original amount of your Equity Loan in fees. In each subsequent year this percentage will rise by the increase in Retail Price Index (a measure of inflation) plus 1 percentage point.

Assuming, for the sake of this explanation, that the Equity Loan fees are going to rise at the rate outlined above and the interest rates on the mortgage would remain at 4.99%, let's see how the rise in loan fees would affect your monthly expenses on repaying your mortgage:

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Notice the loan fees kicking in from Year 5 to Year 6? The fees are predicted to be rising every year, cutting the difference in your repayments shorter and shorter with every passing year.

So, which one do I choose?

It really depends on your personal situation.

What kind of property are you looking to buy? Is it a new build, or a previously owned home? Remember, Equity Loans are only available on new build homes.

Also think about the property you're buying, is it a home for life, or something you plan to sell in a few years' time? If so, would you be ok with giving 20% of the sale price to the government?

Are you prepared to repay another loan in addition to your mortgage? Alternatively, if don't want to take our an equity loan, are you prepared to take on a 95% mortgage?

Also, don't forget about the other expenses associated with buying a home. These include legal fees, stamp duty, Land Registry fees and mortgage arrangement fees.

If you're buying a home for £150,000 you'd also need to pay:

  • Up to £1000 in legal fees
  • £1,500 in stamp duty
  • £140 to Land Registry
  • Plus you may also need to pay mortgage arrangement fees

Finally, do remember that even under the Help to Buy Scheme, failure to pay your mortgage and other loans secured on your property may result in your home being repossessed.

From all of us at Zoopla, best of luck on your property search!