Since the Help to Buy scheme was launched in 2013, 401 loans have been used in Blackburn with Darwen to buy properties, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government figures show. Worth a total of £15.8 million, the vast majority of these loans (85%) were taken out by first-time buyers, above the national first time buyer rate of 81%.

These figures show the impact the Help to Buy scheme has had in the area, with many buyers being able to take advantage of the offer of up to 20% of a home’s value in the form of a government loan.

The figures come at a time when the current Help to Buy scheme is due to come to an end, to be replaced by a new set of rules as of April 2021.

From April 2021, the Help to Buy Scheme will only be applicable to first time buyers. Another major change will see the introduction of regional price caps based on 1.5 times the average first time buyer price in that area. For the North West, this means a price cap of £224,000.

Further rules around the new scheme include:

  • Buyers must cover at least 80% of sale price with mortgage and 5% with deposit
  • No interest for the first 5 years
  • After 5 years, interest becomes payable at 1.75%, rising each year by Consumer Price index plus 2%.

Some of the conditions of the revised scheme will remain similar to the existing one, for example, regarding when the loan must be paid back, which is when the property is sold, the mortgage on it is paid off, or the loan reaches the end of the term.

As with the existing scheme, you can pay back the loan at any time in full, or in 10% chunks.

Any transaction such as paying off all or part of the loan or selling a property bought with Help to Buy requires a RICS Red Book Valuation, which can only be obtained by a Chartered Valuation Surveyor.

Lea Hough has a great deal of experience in providing these, having worked with lots of clients who purchased using Help to Buy since 2013. We are well versed in the specific process and requirements set out by the Housing Authorities and are able to conduct Help to Buy Valuations for a fixed fee.

If you are looking to take advantage of the current Help to Buy scheme by purchasing a property before the end of March 2021 deadline, instructing a Chartered Surveyor could also help to identify any issues or ‘snags’ with the property before you move in.

For more information on any of our services relating to Help to Buy, or to obtain a quote for a ‘Red Book Valuation’, please get in touch.

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Lea Hough is a trading name of Lea Hough & Co LLP, which is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales under partnership number OC306054.
Registered Office: Oakshaw House, 2 Capricorn Park, Blakewater Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB1 5QR