Help to Buy


1. Overview

You may be able to get financial help from the government to buy a home.

You could get:

o    help with a deposit, through a Help to Buy ISA (UK wide) or low-interest loan (in England and Wales)

o    a mortgage guarantee (UK wide)

o    a home through shared ownership (UK wide)

Buying your council or housing association property

There are also schemes for council tenants and housing association tenants.


2. Help to Buy equity loan

You can get a low-interest loan towards your deposit. This is called an equity loan.


The home you buy must:

o    be a new build

o    have a purchase price of up to £600,000 in England (or £300,000 in Wales)

o    be the only one you own

o    not be sub-let or rented out after you buy it

o    be one that you can show you can’t afford (if you’re applying in Wales)

How it works

With an equity loan:

o    you need a 5% deposit

o    the government will lend you up to 20% (up to 40% in London)

o    you need a mortgage of up to 75% for the rest (up to 55% in London)

You must buy your home from a registered Help to Buy Builder.

There are different rules for equity loans in Wales.


For a £200,000 property



Cash deposit



Equity loan

£40,000 (£80,000 in London)

20% (40% in London)


£150,000 (£110,000 in London)

75% (55% in London)

Equity loan fees

You’ll have to pay equity loan fees, but not for the first 5 years.

In the sixth year, you’ll be charged a fee of 1.75% of the loan’s value. The fee then increases every year, according to the Retail Prices Index plus 1%.

Your Help to Buy agent will contact you to set up these monthly fee payments. You’ll also get a statement about your loan each year.

Fees don’t count towards paying back the loan.

Paying back the loan

You must pay back the loan after 25 years or when you sell your home - whichever comes first. The amount you pay back depends on how much your home is worth (the market value).


Market value of your home

Equity loan


Bought for £200,000


Borrowed £40,000

Sold for £250,000


Pay back £50,000

You can pay back part or all of your loan at any time. The smallest repayment you can make is 10% of the market value of your home.


Market value of your home



Bought for £200,000

Borrowed 20%


Value at time of payment £220,000

Paying back 10%


How to apply

Apply through the:

o    Help to Buy agent in the area where you want to live, for England.


3. Help to Buy mortgage guarantee

A mortgage guarantee lets you buy a home with a 5% deposit.

The guarantee is to the mortgage provider not to you as a buyer. The provider will check that you’ll be able to make repayments.


The home you buy must:

o    have a purchase price of £600,000 or less

o    be the only home you own

o    not be rented out after you buy it

o    not be bought through shared ownershipshared equity or any other publicly funded mortgage scheme

o    be bought with a repayment (rather than an interest-only) mortgage