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New Help to Buy scheme gives boost to first time buyers

For the past seven years the Help to Buy housing scheme has been helping home buyers by offering an equity loan funded by the government that is interest free for the first five years. With purchasers only needing as little as a 5% deposit, it has offered a more affordable route to get onto or move up the property ladder. When the new scheme comes in from 1 April 2021, it will be open exclusively to first time buyers, still offering them a much-needed boost when it comes to buying a home of their own.

The other main differences are that regional price caps will be introduced and the scheme will only be available on new build property from a registered house builder or
developer like Countryside. In Essex and rest of the East of England, buyers will have to purchase a property under the threshold of £407,400. Purchasers will still be able to secure their property with just a 5% deposit and borrow up to a 20% equity loan interest free for five years, taking out a mortgage on the remainder. In London, where the equity loan value is 40%, the threshold will remain at £600,000.

Dominic Biggs from Stonebridge Group, a mortgage broker that processes Help to Buy applications, comments: “Help to Buy is a great stepping-stone for first time buyers that want to get onto the property ladder while keeping costs low, so we expect a strong uptake. The big advantage is that it provides an option for those that can only afford a smaller deposit. Since the pandemic many lenders have tightened their lending criteria and they are asking for bigger deposits, so this is a way that buyers can get around that hurdle and still make sure their monthly outgoings are manageable.”

For first time buyers looking to keep their upfront payments as low as possible, buying a new build home also provides many advantages. All Countryside homes come with fully fitted interiors including high quality décor, flooring, bathrooms and kitchens, meaning no initial outlay on appliances after moving in. And with a 10-year NHBC guarantee, all buyers can have complete peace of mind about their new home.

The new Help to Buy scheme is available at several of our Essex developments including Meadow Rise in Braintree, where a range of three-bedroom semi detached houses come within the price bracket. And launching in the autumn, The Paddocks in Cressing will offer a range of homes for first time buyers. With plenty of open space, great design and a warm community a given at all Countryside developments, any of our Essex developments make a fantastic place to buy a first home.