As a result of discussions between the Home Builders Federation and government agency, Homes England, the deadline for the existing Help to Buy scheme will now be extended by a month to the end of March.
The agency Homes stated that it would not enforce the first longstop date of 28 February 2021, giving housebuilders an extra month to reach build completion on their equity loan transactions for the current scheme.
Practical completion can be reached at any point up to and including March 31. However, the deadline for legal completion remains as March 31. HBF said the legal completion date was now key for housebuilders and buyers to be eligible for the existing scheme.
An exception remains – for homes reserved before June 30 where Homes England has already agreed to a further extension to legal completion, the legal and practical completion deadline is May 31. This reflects the impact of the first national lockdown on construction.
In July, the practical completion deadline was extended from the end of December to February 28, 2021, following representations from HBF, with the coronavirus pandemic significantly affecting build programmes and the government asked to rethink the date.
The new Help to Buy scheme is due to be implemented from April 1, featuring regional price caps and for first-time buyers only.