Help to Buy has officially ended – what’s next?

Alternative homeownership options for first time buyers

The Help to Buy equity loan scheme closed to new applications on Monday 31st October 2022, with the scheme officially coming to an end on Friday 31st March 2023. Homes England have confirmed there will be no exceptions or extensions, and there are currently no plans to replace the equity loan with another scheme.

What was Help to Buy?

Help to Buy was a government-backed scheme which aimed to help first time buyers onto the property ladder.

The scheme provided eligible buyers with an equity loan (also known as shared equity) of up to 20% of the value of a new build home. The government provided the 20% loan (or 40% in London) so the buyer only needed to raise a 5% deposit, with a 75% mortgage (or 55% in London) making up the rest.

What are my options now Help to Buy has ended?

Since its inception in 2013, Help to Buy has assisted over 350,000 potential purchasers in becoming homeowners – but just because the equity loan has come to an end, doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other alternative housing options available.

Check out some of the other home-buying schemes on offer to budding buyers, aimed at meeting the demand for a more affordable route to homeownership.

Shared Ownership
Shared Ownership is a part-buy part-rent scheme allows eligible purchasers to buy a share of a new build or resale home, paying a mortgage on the owned portion and a below-market-value rent on the remainder.
First Homes
The First Homes discount initiative helps local people and keyworkers buy a home in areas of high demand, with developers offering homes to first time buyers with a discount of 30% to 50% of the market value of the property.
Deposit Unlock
Available from participating developers, Deposit Unlock is a 5% deposit scheme on new build properties where the home builder insures the mortgage to help the buyer get a better Loan-to-Value mortgage from lenders.
Discount Market Sale
Discount Market Sale is a low-cost homeownership product where a new build property is purchased at a discounted price. This discount is usually around 20% to help low and middle income earners who live in the borough.
Discount Full Ownership
Available in London, this scheme allows buyers to purchase 100% of a property at a discounted rate of at least 20% compared to local market prices.
Intermediate Rent
Intermediate Rent is a scheme aimed at helping buyers who plan to save a deposit and purchase a property within five years, giving them the option to rent a new or refurbished home at a subsidised rate.
London Living Rent
Available to renters in the capital, homes available through London Living Rent are offered on tenancies of minimum three years with below-market value rent. The tenant can go on to make an offer to purchase the property on a Shared Ownership basis during the tenancy.
Rent to Buy
With Rent to Buy, working households are able to rent a new build home on an Intermediate Rent basis, with the property being let a subsidised rate of 20% and a fixed rate of inflation. The tenant can go on to make an offer to purchase the property on a Shared Ownership basis during the tenancy.

Where can I search for new homes?

On Share to Buy, you can view thousands of property listings all across the country to help you narrow down your search. You can use filters such as tenure – including Shared Ownership, First Homes, Deposit Unlock and more – number of bedrooms, location and accessibility to hone in on your ideal abode.

It is also completely free to create an account with Share to Buy and register to receive alerts when new properties that fit your criteria are announced by email.

Create a free account with
Share to Buy
Sign up to receive property alerts and enquire about homes.
Search for your new home on Share to Buy
Use filters to find affordable homes in your area and beyond.
Attend the London Home Show Spring 2023
Register for free to attend the country’s biggest first time buyer event on April 15th.

How can I check my affordability?

Whether you’re buying a new home on the open market or through an alternative housing scheme such as Shared Ownership, you will likely need to take out a mortgage. You can make sure you’re as prepared as possible by getting your finances in order, looking into your spending habits, and using online tools such as our mortgage calculators and mortgage comparison tool to see what might be affordable to you.

Mortgage Calculators
See if the mortgage you want is affordable to you.
Shared Ownership Mortgage Comparison
Compare Shared Ownership mortgage options for free.

What services are available to first time buyers?

Buying your first home can be incredibly daunting, but there are lots of companies and firms offering services to help you on your way!

You may wish to work with a mortgage advisor who can look into your finances and make an assessment on how much you may be able to borrow. They will also be able to provide you with a mortgage offer in principle which proves to sellers that you can afford what’s on the table.

For the legal aspect of buying a home, you will need to appoint a solicitor or conveyancer; we would suggest doing lots of research, including checking reviews from other buyers and getting quotes from multiple companies as the costs can vary greatly between firms. If you choose to buy through Shared Ownership, we would also recommend using a specialist firm who have experience with the scheme.

Censeo Financial
Contact a specialist Shared Ownership mortgage broker.
Solicitor & Conveyancing Panel
Contact specialist Shared Ownership solicitor firms.

Share to Buy is a one stop shop for affordable homes. On our website, you can search for propertiescompare mortgages and find out all you need to know about alternative home buying schemes such as Shared Ownership via our article index.