Help to buy extended by two months amid coronavirus delays

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Help to buy extended by two months amid coronavirus delays

Homebuyers using the government’s help to buy scheme in England are being given an extra two months to complete their purchase amid delays caused b

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Homebuyers using the government’s help to buy scheme in England are being given an extra two months to complete their purchase amid delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The equity loan scheme, which allows people to buy a new-build home with a 5 per cent deposit, will end on 31 March 2021. But those currently using it will have until the end of May to complete, Homes England said.

“We are extending legal completion to 31 May 2021 due to delays caused by coronavirus,” a statement on the government website said.

“This allows an extra two months for home builders to complete the build and for homebuyers to legally complete and get the keys to their home.”

Coronavirus-related delays are thought to be putting as many as 16,000 sales at risk, with the construction of some homes up to eight months behind schedule.

However, the government said there would be no further extensions and asked developers “to continue to build at pace”.

“Please check with your home builder and conveyancer that you’re able to meet these dates,” the website added.

As well as the help to buy scheme, the stamp duty holiday is due to expire at the end of March.

Homebuyers spending up to £500,000 who legally complete on a purchase between 8 July 2020 and 31 March this year do not have to pay stamp duty, saving many people thousands of pounds.

The stamp duty threshold will revert from £500,000 to £125,000 from 1 April. First-time buyers will still be eligible for stamp duty relief.

A new help to buy scheme, for first-time buyers only, is also due to start at that time and will run until 31 March 2023.

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