When ‘help to buy’ is no help at all
New details have emerged which undermine the benefits of the once-celebrated Help To Buy ISAs, revealing limits around how the government pay-out can be used.
When Help To Buy ISAs were introduced by the former Chancellor George Osborne in December 2015, for many first-time buyers they were a blessing. The ability to have the government add 25% of the total deposit saved up, to a maximum of £3,000, allowed those who managed to save £12,000 to enjoy a boost up to £15,000 – thereby allowing for more attractive interest rates on mortgages.
The reasoning behind the move was to help those stuck in the rent cycle to finally gain a foothold on the property ladder and allow the property market to gain more traction through increased income. To date, more than half a million Help To Buy ISAs have been opened by potential homeowners, but as time progresses it seems the ISA may not be as much help as originally anticipated.
In the last two weeks, it has emerged that the 25% gifted by the government will only be provided once the house sale has already gone through, undermining the original point of the scheme. The government has admitted that the clause was to prevent people benefitting from a pay-out without actually going on to purchase a house.
Described as guilty of a ‘scandal’ by house-buying experts, the government has since been accused of using the scheme to help them appear to be answering the plight of those hit by the increasing difference between house prices and wages, without fulfilling the original point of the arrangement.
“It is a scandal,” said Andrew Boast of SAM Conveyancing. “The government launched this scheme declaredly to help people save the large exchange deposit required to buy a home.
“But what unsuspecting first-time buyers are now horrified to discover is that under the scheme rules they cannot use the bonus as part of this deposit.”
Even more worrying is that potential buyers cannot even use the extra money to pay for associated fees such as conveyancing, solicitor payments, or even the necessary land registry searches. This turn of events means that first-time buyers are again at a disadvantage, decreasing the number of buyers in the marketplace – a bad deal for those looking to sell their home fast.
Those who need to sell, however, are able to use house-buying companies, who ensure minimal stress while processing the sale of any property directly for cash with excellent communication between all involved parties.
Suffering from a lack of reasonable offers? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.