First-time buyers face additional costs and risk losing out on Help to Buy scheme as final completion deadline approaches

First-time buyers who miss the final completion deadline for the Government’s Help to Buy scheme could face additional costs of over £50,000, according to research by Wayhome, a provider of gradual homeownership schemes.

While the application deadline for Help to Buy loans expired on 31 October 2022, those who applied before the deadline are still able to benefit from the scheme, provided they legally complete their purchase by 31st March 2023.

After that date, buyers will no longer be eligible for the five-year interest-free loan, and will have to find the additional funds themselves or risk losing their deposit and reservation fee.

Hundreds of buyers have signed a petition calling for an extension to the deadline.

Nigel Purves, co-founder and CEO of Wayhome, said: “The Help to Buy clock is ticking and those that are yet to complete on their purchase are running the risk of having the carpet pulled from beneath them come the end of March.

“If they don’t complete in time, they face the huge task of finding thousands of extra pounds in order to keep their purchase alive. If they fail to do so, they have no other choice but to let the transaction collapse, returning to the market in search of a new home which will also see the cost of homeownership jump dramatically. 

“Those that find themselves in this predicament will have a very tough choice to make and when doing so, they will also need to take into account the other non-refundable costs already incurred, such as legal and financial advice, as well as the time and stress of searching for a new property.

“While there is no direct Help to Buy replacement for those who do have to go back to the drawing board, there are a number of other more affordable routes to homeownership available via the private sector. So although it may certainly seem like a huge step backwards, don’t panic, there are other options that can help give you a financial foot up onto the property ladder.”