Help to Buy

Help to Buy is a government-backed scheme that helps first time buyers get onto the property ladder. It reduces the amount you need for a deposit when compared to buying a home on the open market.

The Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme was launched on 1 April 2021. It provides you with an equity loan of up to 20 percent of the value of a new build home. The Government provides the 20 percent loan (40 percent in London) so that you only need to raise a five percent deposit, with a 75 percent mortgage (55 percent in London) making up the rest.


If you want to buy a new build home worth £200,000, the Help to Buy Equity Loan would break down as follows:

Loan from the Government - £40,000

Deposit you put down - £10,000

Mortgage from a mortgage lender - £150,000

The loan is interest-free for five years and after that time you pay interest on the equity loan amount you borrowed. The equity loan payments are interest only, so you don’t reduce the amount you owe. You can repay all or part of your equity loan at any time. A part payment must be at least 10 percent of what your home is worth at the time of repayment. So based on the example above, if the value of the house stayed the same, you’d have to make a minimum payment of £20,000.

Your options

Help to Buy is only available on some new build developments. Both houses and apartments are available through the scheme. Please note you can’t sub-let your Help to Buy home.

If you’re interested in the Help to Buy scheme, register with the Help to Buy agent in the area where you want to live. For the South of England (including Essex) this is Help to Buy South. Here you can find lots of information about the scheme and eligibility. Applications for the Help to Buy equity loan run until 31 March 2023.

If you’d like to find out about an alternative affordable home ownership option, please visit our shared ownership page.

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