Helping first time buyers onto the property ladder…. Help to Buy scheme helps 15,000 people to own a new home The Help to Buy: equity loan scheme has so far helped more than 15,000 people to own a new home. The government scheme came into effect on 1 April 2013 and applies to new build properties only. To qualify, you need a minimum deposit of 5%. The government will then lend you up to 20% of the value of the property through an equity loan. This is interest free for five years and can be repaid at any time within 25 years or on the sale of the home. It means you could buy a property with just a 75% mortgage from a bank or building society. The scheme is run in partnership with building companies across the country. So far, more than 900 developers have signed up to take part. More than 80% are smaller firms, building 40 homes or less. Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said: “The Help to Buy: equity loan scheme is not just helping thousands of buyers on to the property ladder, but is making an important contribution to people’s lives by creating jobs, boosting local business and stimulating the economy.” The housing market is now getting a further boost with the introduction of the £12billion Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee, which came into effect in October. Potential buyers have to provide a minimum deposit of 5%. The government will then provide a guarantee for up to 15% of the purchase price. This is designed to encourage lenders to offer 95% mortgages, secure in the knowledge that the government guarantee minimises any risk. Please contact us if you would like more information about buying or selling a home.