More than a million people have opened a Help to Buy ISA, the government savings account designed to enable first time buyers to get on the property ladder.
The scheme was launched on 1 December 2015 to provide potential buyers with the opportunity to save up to £200 a month with the government topping up their contributions by 25%, up to a maximum of £3,000.
First-time house buyers across the UK can open an ISA, which is available for home purchases up to £250,000 (£450,000 in London). If you plan to buy a home with someone who also qualifies, you are each able to separately claim the bonuses on your savings and put both towards the home you are buying.
The scheme has proven to be hugely popular, with the equivalent of 1,500 Help to Buy ISAs being opened every day since its introduction. The number of providers of the scheme, which includes banks, building societies and credit unions, has doubled since its launch to 28, with the Nottingham Building Society being the most recent to sign up.
Savings in a Help to Buy ISA are tax-free and are also quick and easy to open. Savers can receive on average 2.4% interest rate on their savings which is typically higher than an instant access savings account.
First-time buyers will be able to open a Help to buy ISA until 30 November 2019. Existing account holders can continue to save in their ISA account until 30 November 2029 when accounts will close to additional contributions. Bonuses can be claimed until 1 December 2030.
Please contact us if you would like advice about the legal aspects of buying or selling a home.