"It’s been confirmed that this will be the final extension of the scheme and advisers now have a key role to play in helping buyers to understand what these changes mean for them."
The Government has announced that it is extending the legal completion deadline for the current Help to Buy scheme until the 31st of May.
In a statement, Homes England said: "Help to Buy will end on 31 March 2021, but homebuyers using the current scheme will have more time to complete their purchase. We are extending legal completion to 31 May 2021 due to delays caused by coronavirus. This allows an extra two months for homebuilders to complete the build and for homebuyers to legally complete and get the keys to their home."
It added that "there will be no more extensions, so we are asking homebuilders to continue to build at pace".
The Government said that if buyers cannot meet the legal completion by 31 May 2021, their homebuilder must unconditionally release them from the contract and refund the reservation fee.
The new Help to Buy scheme for first-time buyers only starts on 1st April 2021 and ends 31st March 2023.
Craig Hall, head of broker relationships and propositions at Legal & General Mortgage Club, commented: “Covid-19 has disrupted and even delayed the construction of new homes, including those available through Help to Buy. However, the Government’s decision to extend the legal completion date of Help to Buy to 31st May will provide a much-needed breathing space for consumers to finalise their home purchase before the current scheme ends. It’s been confirmed that this will be the final extension of the scheme and advisers now have a key role to play in helping buyers to understand what these changes mean for them.
“The wider mortgage industry, including advisers, lenders, surveyors and conveyancers, must now work together to ensure those using the current Help to Buy programme are able to complete on their purchase as quickly as possible. Importantly, with the current stamp duty ‘holiday’ due to end on 31st March, those unable to complete before this date will need to pay the associated stamp duty on their property, although first time buyers in England will remain exempt up to £300,000. Tapering the ‘holiday’ deadline could help avoid this cliff edge – something we hope policymakers will consider in the forthcoming Budget.”