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With the number of first-time buyers at an 11-year high, the Government’s Help to Buy scheme will run for an additional two years, it was announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget on 29th October.

The equity loan scheme was due to end in April 2021. It will now be extended to 2023, in England, for first time buyers only. Help to Buy offers a 40% government loan to buyers of new-build properties in London (20% elsewhere in the country).

New price caps on the homes eligible for the scheme have been introduced. The caps are set at 1.5 times the average forecast first-time buyer price in an area. This means that in London buyers can use Help to Buy to purchase a property costing up to £600,000.

The announcement was welcomed by Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance. Speaking to news website Property Wire she said: “Last year the number of first-time buyers reached its highest level in a decade, boosted by vital schemes like Help to Buy. This announcement provides further clarity and will bring welcome certainty to the new-build housing and mortgage market.”

In the Budget Mr Hammond also announced help for first-time buyers purchasing a shared ownership property. There will be no stamp duty liable for shared ownership homes worth up to £500,000, where the first-time buyer purchases a 25% to 75% share. The benefit will be applied retrospectively to sales in the past year.

In last year’s Autumn Budget the Chancellor removed stamp duty for first-time buyers purchasing a property up to £300,000, which helped more than 121,000 people get a foot on the housing ladder.

Read more about the story on Property Wire