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Help to Buy housebuilder completion deadline extended by one month

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

The government has extended the housebuilder completion deadline for Help to Buy by a month in certain circumstances to 31 January 2023 to “make sure people do not lose out because of delays to completing their homes”.

The Help to Buy Equity Loan allowed people to buy a new-build property with a minimum of a 5% deposit and to use an equity loan of up to 20% of the purchase price (40% in London). The loan is interest-free for the first five years. See YourMoney.com’s Help to Buy Equity Loan guide for more information.

Help to Buy closed for new applicants on 31 October.

New government guidelines for Help to Buy

Under previous guidelines, housebuilders were required to reach practical completion by 31 December this year, known as the first longstop date.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) said that to “avoid customer detriment” this date will be extended in certain circumstances.

A homebuilder needs to notify the DLUHC in writing that it is unlikely to reach the practical completion by 31 December but will reach this on or before 31 January 2023.

Practical completion takes place on or before 31 January 2023.

It said that it is available for homebuyers with authority to proceed or authority to exchange in progress. Homebuilders need to notify Homes England before 20 December.

The DLUHC said that this “aims to give homebuyers enough time to legally complete before the scheme ends on 31 March 2023”.

Help to Buy extended to beat any delays

A DLUHC spokesperson said: “Supporting aspiring homeowners is a government priority. We have extended the Help to Buy deadline to make sure people do not lose out because of delays to completing their homes.

“Housebuilders must ensure they finish building work on all properties by 31 January. The legal completion deadline remains 31 March.”

In November, YourMoney.com presented a guide on the 10 alternatives to Help to Buy that may currently be available to first-time buyers.