FIRST-TIME buyers can get on the property ladder with a new Help to Buy scheme.
The programme enables wannabe homeowners in England to purchase a property with just a 5% deposit, but new rules came into effect in April.
The old scheme closed to new applicants last week and buyers have until May 31 2021 to complete on the home to still be able to claim the support.
Under the latest version, the government will continue to lend owners up to 20% – or 40% in London – of the property value, interest-free, to lower the mortgage and increase affordability.
But it can only be used for new build homes worth the average first-time buyer purchase price in the area, meaning it varies depending on where you live.
Under the previous scheme, the property could cost up to £600,000.
The change is to stop already wealthy first-time buyers using the scheme to purchase bigger homes.
For example, buyers in the North East will only be eligible for the help on homes worth less than £186,100, while those in the South East are limited to property worth less than £437,600.
The programme opened to new applicants in December last year and is now the only loan scheme the government offers to first-time buyers.
The loan is interest-free for the first five years. After that, fees start at 1.75% and rise each year in April by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) level of inflation, plus 2%.
If you're keen to use it, we round up UK properties listed on Zoopla available under the scheme below.
What help is out there for first-time buyers?
GETTING on the property ladder can feel like a daunting task but there are schemes out there to help first-time buyers have their own home.
Help to Buy Isa – It's a tax-free savings account where for every £200 you save, the Government will add an extra £50. But there's a maximum limit of £3,000 which is paid to your solicitor when you move. These accounts have now closed to new applicants but those who already hold one have until November 2029 to use it.
Help to Buy equity loan – The Government will lend you up to 20% of the home's value – or 40% in London – after you've put down a 5% deposit. The loan is on top of a normal mortgage but it can only be used to buy a new build property.
Lifetime Isa – This is another Government scheme that gives anyone aged 18 to 39 the chance to save tax-free and get a bonus of up to £32,000 towards their first home. You can save up to £4,000 a year and the Government will add 25% on top.
Shared ownership – Co-owning with a housing association means you can buy a part of the property and pay rent on the remaining amount. You can buy anything from 25% to 75% of the property but you're restricted to specific ones.
"First dibs" in London – London Mayor Sadiq Khan is working on a scheme that will restrict sales of all new-build homes in the capital up to £350,000 to UK buyers for three months before any overseas marketing can take place.
Starter Home Initiative – A Government scheme that will see 200,000 new-build homes in England sold to first-time buyers with a 20% discount by 2020. To receive updates on the progress of these homes you can register your interest on the Starter Homes website.
Hebburn, North East – £149,995
North East is the area with the lowest regional price cap of £186,100 – and you can get this two-bedroom home in Hebburn for £149,995.
The two-storey house comes with a large living room with French doors opening onto a rear garden.
The ground floor also houses a dining room and a toilet.
On the first floor, you'll find two bedrooms and a family bathroom.
Nottinghamshire, East Midlands – £154,995
Another Help to Buy option for around £150,000 is this two-bedroom flat in Nottinghamshire.
The master bedroom is an en-suite and the property also boasts two Juliet balconies.
Motorists may also like to know that you'll get a single garage.
The regional price cap in the East Midlands is set at £261,900.
Liverpool, North West – £185,000
First-time buyers in Liverpool, or those looking to relocate, can get a two-bedroom terraced house in the city for £185,000.
This is below the Help to Buy price cap of £224,400 in the North West region, giving you plenty of margin.
The flat comes with an open-plan layout, which is ideal for entertaining family and friends once coronavirus restrictions ease.
Thanks to the low 5% deposit requirement, you can buy this property with a £9,250 deposit.
Doncaster, Yorkshire and the Humber – £194,000
Families who are looking to get on the property ladder may want to check out this three-bed terraced house for sale in Doncaster.
The ground floor offers open-plan living with a kitchen and dining area with French doors to the garden, a separate lounge and cloakroom.
Upstairs you'll find two double bedrooms with en suite shower room to one of them, a single bedroom and family bathroom.
In Yorkshire and the Humber, the regional price cap is set at £228,100.
Birmingham, West Midlands – £195,500
Single first-time buyers and couples can get a one-bedroom flat in this stunning building in Birmingham.
The flats are set within the former ground of the Northfield Manor House, which dates back to the mid-1700s.
The first floor flat comes with parking space, but the property ad doesn't include any pictures of the interior so you'll have to ask the agent directly.
The regional price cap in Birmingham and the West Midlands is set at £255,600.
Exeter, South West – £257,500
First-time buyers in the South West of England may want to take a look at this two-bedroom terraced house for sale in Exeter.
It comes with allocated parking space and is spread over two floors.
The kitchen-dining area and living room are both located on the ground floor, with the latter leading out to a garden.
Upstairs you’ll find two double bedrooms, two large cupboard spaces and a family bathroom.
In the South West, the regional price cap is set at £349,000.
Leighton Buzzard, East of England – £340,000
If you have a £17,000 deposit, you can buy a £340,000 three-bedroom semi-detached house in Leighton Buzzard through Help to Buy.
Built by Barratt Homes, the property has a large lounge at the front of the house while double doors from the kitchen open onto the garden.
The open-plan kitchen and dining room stretch across the back of the house.
The property comes with two double bedrooms, one single bedroom and two bathrooms.
Motorists will also like the driveway to the side of the property with space for two cars.
In the East of England, the regional price cap is £407,400.
East Sussex, South East – £409,995
For a £20,500 deposit, you can get a four-bedroom house with two bathrooms in Peacehaven, East Sussex.
The £409,995 semi-detached property comes with a single garage plus parking space.
There's also an open-plan living and dining room with French doors to the West facing garden.
If you don't need four bedrooms, you could turn one of them into a home office.
The South East is the only other region across England with a price cap above £400,000 – and it's set at £437,600.
London – £555,000
Last but not least, Londoners looking to use the Help to Buy scheme can snap up a two-bedroom flat in New Cross for £555,000.
Located on Amersham Vale, the property is a short walk fromthe Deptford high street, Deptford Market Yard and New Cross station.
Properties in the development range from one-bedroom flats to spacious four-bedroom townhouses with private gardens.
In the capital, the Help to Buy cap is set at £600,000 and you can borrow up to 40% of the property price as long as you have a 5% deposit.
If you aren't looking to spend that much on a property, we've rounded up 10 family-sized homes with three bedrooms that cost £50,000 or less.
Plus, take a look inside the 10 cheapest UK properties with prices starting from £22,500.
If you're a first-time buyer looking to get on the property ladder, you should read our ultimate guide to the process.
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