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First-time Buyer

Help to Buy ISAs launch: what you need to know

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Today marks the launch of tax-free, government-boosted property savings accounts. We summarise the key facts, including which lenders are offering the best rates.

The Government’s Help to Buy ISAs launch today, giving wannabe first-time buyers the opportunity save a deposit for a property, earn tax-free interest, and receive a helping hand from the Treasury.

For every £200 saved into your Help to Buy ISA the Government will top it up by an extra £50, a huge boost to your property savings pot.

While first-time buyers will benefit from tax-free interest on the money they save into their ISA, at the rate offered by their provider, the Government boost is only paid when they come to purchase their first home, and it goes straight to the conveyancer to form part of the deposit.

Help to Buy account holders can receive a maximum of £3,000 from the Government if they save £12,000 into their ISA, meaning that joint first-time buyers could potentially receive a boost of £6,000 to their deposit. However only £200 a month can be saved into a Help to Buy ISA, with an extra £1,000 allowed this month to kick-start your savings pot.

Mark Hayward, managing director of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) said: “The Help to Buy ISA is a great initiative and will provide a boost to first-time buyers (FTBs) hoping to make the climb onto the property ladder.

“It seems as though FTBs are at the top of the Government’s agenda following the further helpful initiatives announced during last week’s Autumn Statement.”

New deals

A handful of providers released details of their new Help to Buy ISAs over the weekend and Santander has now joined them, announcing the details of its own offering this morning.

Its Help to Buy ISA offers a preferential rate of 2% for Santander 123, World and Select customers, and 1.5% for everyone else.

Aldermore, NatWest and Nationwide are both offering 2% interest, Virgin Money 3% and Halifax’s interest rate is 4%.  More Help to Buy ISA deals are expected to be announced over the coming days.

Click here for the complete guide to Help to Buy ISAs