Help to buy

Whether you are looking to purchase a property on your own, with a mortgage or rent first and buy later or venture directly onto the home ownership ladder, there are many different options, schemes and packages available for you, your family and your budget.

Help to buy covers affordable home ownership schemes, such as shared ownership and rent to buy schemes. Its aim is to help people in housing need get on the property ladder. There are various options available:

  • First buy schemes allow you to purchase a new home with the help of equity loans provided jointly by the house builder and the government.
  • Help to buy shared ownership allows you to buy a share in a home, and pay a discounted rent on the remainder. The share you buy is determined on your income and savings, meaning you buy a share that you can afford, and take out a smaller mortgage than you would if you bought your home on the open market. With most shared ownership homes, you can purchase extra shares in the future, until you own your home outright.
  • Intermediate rent and rent to buy schemes allow you to move into a brand new home, whilst paying a discounted rent, so that you can save up a deposit to buy the property at a later date. Some schemes even help you to set up a savings plan and will match what you have saved (within certain limits) when you decide to buy the property.

To qualify for help to buy, you must have a maximum annual household income of £60,000, and be unable to buy a suitable home without assistance. Priority is given to existing social housing tenants, MOD personnel and first time buyers. Help to buy schemes are aimed at first time buyers so existing homeowners are not normally eligible.

You will probably still need a 5% deposit, however, because the deposit percentage is calculated on the share you are buying, it is likely to be less than if you were buying without help on the open market.

Occasionally some lenders will lend 100% mortgages to people in certain professions, or who live in specific areas. If you are self-employed, lenders usually require you to produce three years accounts from your business. For more advice, you might want to talk to an independent financial advisor or mortgage broker.

Find out more about help to buy on the government website (

This section lists local providers.