The Government is reportedly drawing up plans to extend the Help to Buy scheme due to Covid-19 delays. According to the FT, ministers have been asked to extend the Scheme beyond its planned December deadline to support buyers whose purchases have been delayed by the pandemic. The scheme is due to end in April 2021 and a new version of the scheme will run from April 2021 to March 2023, for first-time buyers only. If the original scheme ends when planned, sales transactions will need to be agreed by December 2020. The Government was first reported to be considering an extension to the Help to Buy scheme in April, amid the Covid-19 lockdown.
The Home Builders Federation, whose members deliver around 80% of new homes built each year, announced that it was in talks with the Government about extending the scheme to help support the industry after Covid-19 lockdown measures are lifted. The shutdown of construction work and sales offices is expected to have a long-term impact on the sector, with Savills estimating that the lockdown will hinder the construction of around 200,000 new homes. The latest Government statistics show that the number of properties purchased through the Help to Buy scheme fell by 9% in Q1, ahead of the lockdown.