They say that all good things come to an end. And within the UK’s property market, one good thing for people trying to get on the ladder is nearing that moment.

Help-To-Buy is going to be ending in March 2023. This week, the UK government has confirmed the month in which the final applications need to be made in order to capitalise on this initiative.

What is Help-to-Buy?

Help-to-Buy was introduced by the UK government in 2013 as a way to support people in buying a new build property. In particular, the scheme has offered a chance for applicants to make that all important step onto the property ladder.

What Help-to-Buy provides is the chance to secure a property with just a 5% deposit. This applied to both people seeking their first property or home movers in the original Help-to-Buy scheme, and just new buyers in the later, current version.

What has made this affordable is the equity loan covering 20% of the property’s value for houses outside of London. Within London’s borders, the percentages are a little different, with a 40% equity loan and a mortgage covering the other 55%. Still, a 5% deposit is all that is required for new builds that are listed under the Help-to-Buy scheme. 

When is the Help-to-Buy deadline?

Although March 2023 marks the official end of Help-to-Buy, the cut off date for applications actually comes later this year.

It has now been confirmed that October 2022 is the last month in which people will be able to apply through the scheme, with 31st October the final date. 

Why is Help-to-Buy ending?

There are some people who will not mind seeing the back of Help-to-Buy, as there is a feeling that the scheme may have inflated the cost of some new build homes.

With the government committing to culminating the scheme, it is bringing out a new flagship affordable home ownership scheme named First Homes. This initiative will see new homes available at discounted prices of 30% or more compared to market averages, with the discount being passed on to future sales. 

While this sounds like a great opportunity, the First Homes scheme is still in development and it’s not completely clear who will be able to take advantage of it, and where the homes included in the scheme will be located.

There are other schemes out there to consider too. This includes Deposit Unlock, which launched in England, Wales and Scotland late last year.

What does this mean for people?

If the Help-to-Buy scheme aligns with your personal situation well and is something you are interested in pursuing, then it’s time to get moving. 

October 2022 will come around quickly, and the end of applications for the scheme has surprised some with regards to the earliness of the cut off. 

As a freelancer or contractor seeking a mortgage of your own, Help-to-Buy does represent an opportunity to get on the ladder with a smaller deposit than you may have expected. 

While we would never advise rushing your plans, there’s now a level of urgency if you are committing to the Help-to-Buy route. So consider your options, and start to move to your goals when the time is right.