Help to Buy ISA – Deadline 30 November 2019
The Help to Buy ISA scheme was launched on 01 November 2015 and since then the scheme has supported over 230,000 properties being purchased, with over 310,000 First Time Buyers receiving ISA bonuses from the government to help them buy their first property. The average bonus is £920. The scheme will remain open for existing account holders, but the scheme will close to new applicants on 30 November 2019.
OUR TOP TEN POINTS TO NOTE
- You can deposit £1,200 in your first month, then £200 per month.
- The Government will add a tax-free bonus of 25% when you purchase a property up to a maximum bonus of £3,000.
- At least £1,600 needs to be saved into the Help to Buy ISA to qualify for the minimum government bonus of £400.
- You need to be 16 years old to open a Help to Buy ISA account. You need to be 18 years old to purchase a property.
- The account is for individuals only rather than a joint application.
- The property you purchase will need to be under £250,000 (£450,000 in London).
- All mortgage lenders accept the scheme.
- You can only open one Help to Buy ISA account but you can transfer it to another provider.
- We need to apply for your ISA Bonus in advance of you purchasing the property.
- The bonus needs to be used towards the property purchase and cannot be used towards the deposit for exchange of contracts.
HOW IT WORKS
When you are close to purchasing your first property, you will need to ask your solicitor or conveyancer to apply for your government bonus. Your solicitor or conveyancer will need you to sign a First Time Buyer Declaration and you will need to provide a Closing Statement. Your solicitor or conveyancer will apply for your bonus through the government portal. Around 3 working days’ notice is normally required.
COULD THE SCHEME BE EXTENDED?
Speculation is currently mounting that the November deadline may be extended, and the new housing secretary has indicated an announcement may be made in the Autumn Statement.
HELP TO BUY ISA OR LIFETIME ISA?
With the Help to Buy ISA coming to an end, the Lifetime ISA offers an alternative when it comes to saving for your first home.
Launched in April 2017, the Lifetime ISA appears much more generous than the Help to Buy ISA. A much higher maximum government bonus is available to Lifetime ISA savers, £32,000, compared to £3,000, and you can invest as well as save in cash.
However, savers into the lifetime ISA can only withdraw money for the purchase of their first home, if they are over 60 years old, or have less than a year to live. Withdrawals for any other reason will be subject to a 25% penalty, which applies on the value of the withdrawal.
WE CAN HELP YOU
Our Property Lawyers are here to assist you with their experience of the Help to Buy ISA and Lifetime ISA schemes. We are authorised through Lender Exchange to apply for your Help to Buy ISA bonus and we work with all lenders with Lifetime ISA products.