Help to Buy: Equity Loan

  • Deposit required: At least 5% of the price of the home.
  • Ownership: Full ownership. Government has an equity share of up to 20% (up to 40% in London), until you repay the equity loan.
  • Headline benefits: Enables people to buy a new-build property with a small deposit.
  • Headline requirements: Homebuyers must contribute 80% of the home’s price, for example, with a minimum 5% deposit and up to 75% mortgage. In London, homebuyers must contribute at least 60% of the home’s price.

Availability: England only Part of the Help to Buy scheme

Overview of scheme

Help to Buy: Equity Loan (2021-2023) was launched on 1 April 2021. It is for first-time buyers and includes regional property price limits to ensure the scheme reaches people who need it most.

The new scheme will run until March 2023. As with the previous scheme, the government will lend homebuyers up to 20% of the cost of a newly built home, and up to 40% in London.

The previous Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme ran until March 2021.

Frequently asked questions

To help first-time homebuyers into home ownership who are unable to access affordable loan-to-value mortgages due to having an insufficient deposit.

First-time homebuyers over the age of 18 years buying a home in England

To apply, you must be:

  • aged 18 or older
  • a first-time buyer

You cannot:

  • own a home or land anywhere in the world now or in the past
  • have had any form of sharia mortgage finance
  • own a home bought with other people or inherited
  • be married or in a co-habiting relationship, either now or on legal completion with anyone who owns or has owned a home or land anywhere in the world
  • buy a second home before repaying your equity loan in full 

If you’re married or in a co-habiting relationship, you must make a joint application with your spouse or civil partner and both live in the home as your only residence.

There are price limits on homes you can buy with an equity loan. The limit is different for each region in England.

Region Full property price limit
East £407,400
East Midlands £261,900
London £600,000
North East £186,100
North West £224,400
South East £437,600
South West £349,000
West Midlands £255,600
Yorkshire and The Humber £228,100

346,656 homes were bought using the Help to Buy: Equity Loan from April 2013 to September 2021. 

To apply you must be a first-time homebuyer. The new build home you’re buying must be within the regional price limits.  Make sure your homebuilder is registered for Help to Buy before you apply.


How to apply

  1. 1

    Reserve a new build property with a homebuilder registered with the scheme

  2. 2

    Apply online through the Help to Buy agent in your region

  3. 3

    Your Help to Buy agent will assess your eligibility for the scheme and issue an Authority to Proceed

  4. 4

    Authority to Proceed allows you to apply for a repayment mortgage and progress your application to exchange of contracts, where the Help to Buy agent will issue an Authority to Exchange

  5. 5

    Once all the paperwork and dates are agreed and the home is built (practical completion), your Help to Buy agent will issue a Transaction Confirmation. This allows legal completion and funds to be transferred to the homebuilder.

  6. 6

    After legal completion, your Help to Buy agent passes your details to the equity loan administrator to manage the equity loan account until it is paid in full.

Homebuyers can apply any time, but if you get an equity loan between January and March, you pay slightly less interest than equity loans taken late in the year.

The last date you can reserve your home and apply for the Help to Buy: Equity Loan is 31 October 2022. This should allow enough time for you to legally buy your home before the scheme ends on 31 March 2023.