Understanding the Help to Buy Equity Loan Extension

House and key on table

Help to Buy has assisted many buyers to secure a new build home since it was launched in 2013. However, the scheme is due to change significantly. The current scheme will close to new applications on 15th December so buyers hoping to use it are running out of time. 

Both developers and purchasers who are using the current scheme will be aware of two key dates; a physical completion date for developers of 28th February 2021 and legal completion for buyers of 31 March 2021. 

With such a significant change taking place and the nationwide lockdown in March, the Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme had to be reviewed.

From April 2021, Help to Buy will be restricted to first-time buyers only and a series of regional price caps will be implemented across England. Those eligible can submit new applications from 16th December.

Changes to deadlines

The nationwide lockdown in March led to the closure of the UK housing market and caused significant delays for both developers and the industry as a whole.

In July, the government confirmed to housebuilders, an extension to the original physical completion date as many were unlikely to meet the deadline of 31st December.

This gave developers the opportunity to get construction plans back on track. However, it did not affect consumers, they must still legally complete their purchase by 31st March 2021. If they miss this date, borrowers will only be able to proceed and reapply under the new scheme if they are first time buyers.

The government has also made it clear that the new scheme will end in 2023.


The mortgage market is experiencing unprecedented levels of demand. Anyone involved with the processing of applications will know the impact on service levels across the industry. There are significant delays due to many lenders switching to manual assessments, requirement of additional documentation and the backlog faced by surveyors. 

This is only likely to get worse as other buyers rush to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday as it too has a deadline of 31st March. 

Those who have not yet begun the process but intend to use the scheme, need to be cautious and aware of the pressures and challenges ahead. They may find it is too late.

We’re here to help

We have a team of advisors with many years of experience who would be happy to discuss your requirements and the options available.  Please contact us or call 01780 480600.  

We also have a dedicated section on our website with information regarding the scheme: Help to Buy.

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