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Help to Buy Scheme: Coronavirus

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN 81832, tabled on 28 August 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of house purchasers seeking to use the Help to Buy Scheme who have had their completion dates delayed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak and as a result have lost deposits on purchases.

Answered on

9 September 2020

On 31 July a two-month extension was announced to the building completion deadline from 31 December 2020 to 28 February 2021, allowing an additional two months’ build time. The legal completion deadline for the purchase remains 31 March 2021.

The Government also announced an extra measure to protect existing customers who have experienced severe delays as a result of coronavirus. Homes England, who administer Help to Buy, will work with those who had a reservation in place before 30 June to assess their situation and look to provide an extension where necessary. In which case, they will have until 31 May 2021 to legally complete. More information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/help-to-buy-scheme-extended.

Should there be any cases where a reservation has been secured after 30 June 2020 and the build is severely delayed despite the additional build time, and so the homebuyer is unable to reach legal completion by 31 March 2021, they must be unconditionally released from the contract. The homebuyer is advised to contact their conveyancer should they need further advice.

Meanwhile the Government’s new Help to Buy scheme, which will replace the current scheme and is for first time buyers only, will commence on 1 April 2021 and run until March 2023. There are no plans for further extensions. https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/equity-loan/help-to-buy-equity-loan-2021-2023/.