Some property buyers who have been placed in a state of flux have seen some good news this week, and more may be around the corner.

The Help-to-Buy scheme has been extended, meaning that thousands of people up and down the UK will not miss out on the chance to buy their dream newly built home.

What’s happening with Help-to-Buy?

Help-to-Buy sees the government offer an advance to buyers looking to purchase a newly built home. But unfortunately, reportedly more than 16,000 sales of qualifying new homes have been affected by delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This means that though people have signed up to purchase a new build as part of the scheme, their property may not yet be complete and ready to live in. With the deadline as it was, this meant that if a deal was not completed in time, would-be buyers could potentially miss out and lose thousands of pounds in fees through no fault of their own.

The deadline for Help-to-Buy was 31st March 2021. However, in order to facilitate and cover for delays caused by the pandemic, the legal completion date for any sales involving Help-to-Buy has now been moved to 31st May 2021. This gives that extra bit of time for homes to be built, deals to be completed and savings to be made.

A new Help-to-Buy scheme is set to soon supersede the current incarnation – something Roots reported on a few weeks ago. But with the latest extension of the deadline, the old model will continue to apply for buyers in the process of taking advantage of Help-to-Buy for a little while longer. 

Ultimately, anybody part way through the process now has the opportunity to get things over the line. 

More good news to come?

Another important topic for anybody seeking to purchase a new home at present is whether or not the current stamp duty holiday will be extended.

The removal of stamp duty was introduced in July last year as a way to keep the property market going in the face of the pandemic. However it too is set to expire on 31st March. 

This has meant that as many as 100,000 homebuyers could get caught in what has been referred to as a ‘completion trap’, and potentially miss out on the significant cost savings that avoiding stamp duty could bring.

Many MPs have backed the idea of extending the stamp duty holiday to allow more buyers to complete their purchase in the face of various Coronavirus-related delays. It seems this may be having the desired effect.

The Telegraph is reporting that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering green lighting such an extension, allowing buyers to miss falling into the completion trap and capitalise on the benefits of the Stamp Duty Holiday.

Though Sunak may well be considering extending the holiday to a degree, the full details are likely to only be known when revealed as part of the 2021 Budget – taking place on 3rd March 2021.

The Telegraph is reporting that though an extension is being considered, there is reluctance to push it out too far given how much the holiday has cost the treasury to date – a reported £3.8 billion. It is possible that something akin to the extension of the Help-to-Buy scheme may be in the offing.

Good news for new buyers

Generally speaking, contractors and freelancers who have been involved with the Help-to-Buy scheme buy are yet to complete their purchase should be pleased such an extension has been Ok’d.

If the stamp duty holiday extension also comes to pass, that means there’s even more opportunity to save and get that dream new build secured.

If that does happen, it’s quite possible that a happier 2021 will be on the horizon – at least from a property perspective.