Help to Buy: Equity loan scheme Contents


The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (the Department) introduced the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme in April 2013 to address a fall in property sales following the financial crash of 2008 and the consequent tightening of regulations over the availability of high loan-to-value and high loan-to-income mortgages. Originally intended to last three years, in 2015 the Department announced the extension of the scheme to 2021. The scheme has two principal aims: to help prospective homeowners obtain mortgages and buy new-build properties; and, through the increased demand for new-build properties, to increase the rate of house building in England.

Homes England administers the scheme on behalf of the Department. Home buyers receive an equity loan of up to 20% (40% in London since February 2016) of the market value of an eligible new-build property, interest free for five years. The loan must be paid back in full on sale of the property, within 25 years, or in line with the buyer’s main mortgage if this is extended beyond 25 years. The scheme enables buyers to purchase a new-build property with a mortgage of 75% (55% in London) of the value of the property. The current scheme, which will run to March 2021, is not means-tested and is open to both first-time buyers and those who have owned a property previously. Buyers can purchase properties valued up to £600,000. A new scheme, to follow on immediately from the current scheme for two years to March 2023, will be restricted to first-time buyers and will introduce lower regional caps on the maximum property value, while remaining at £600,000 in London.

Published: 17 September 2019