Latest News

Land Transaction Tax (LTT) nil rate band extended

04 March 2021

On 3 March 2021, the Welsh Government announced that the temporary increase to the nil rate band of LTT for residential property transactions will be extended to 30 June 2021. Read More...

Campaign leads to extended Stamp Duty holiday

03 March 2021

The Chancellor has listened to Propertymark’s calls to avoid a cliff-edge deadline to the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday in the UK Government’s budget, today, 3 March 2021. The nil rate band up to £500,000 will end on 30 June, instead of March. A transitional nil rate band up to £250,000 will be in place until the end of September and then return to £125,000 from October, with first-time buyers continuing not to pay stamp duty on properties up to £300,000. Read More...

Estate agents lose over £4,000 for every property sale that falls through

25 February 2021

Research carried out by Propertymark over the last year found an average of 17 property sales fell through, with 42 per cent of respondents saying failed sales are a significant problem for businesses. Read More...


New Help to Buy: Equity Loan Scheme

Tuesday 19 January 2021

First-time buyers looking to purchase a home in England will continue to receive Government support under the revised Help to Buy: Equity Loan Scheme (2021-2023), which is now open for applications with buyers able to move into their new properties from 1 April 2021.

Whilst the new scheme keeps most of the features of the previous (2013-21), a new regional price limit means the cost of the new build property must not exceed 1.5 times the average first-time buyer price. The Government hopes that the limit will keep the prices of new homes closer to the regional first-time buyer average.

Help to Buy: Equity Loan price caps – April 2021 to March 2023


Maximum Property Price

North East


North West


Yorkshire and Humber


East Midlands


West Midlands


South West


East of England


South East





As with the previous scheme, to be eligible the property must be a new build. The buyer cannot own another property or have done so in the past and must not sub-let or rent it out after purchase.

The amounts remain the same, with the Government offering up to 20 per cent of the cost of the new build home (40 per cent in London). The remainder is made up by the buyers’ deposit of 5 per cent and the mortgage covering up to 75 per cent (or up to 55 per cent in London).

Buyers must apply through one of the Government’s Help to Buy agents and the new property must be purchased through a registered Help to Buy builder. A number of lenders have started to offer Help to Buy scheme mortgages for use under the new scheme.

Devolved countries

As housing is a devolved issue, the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme (2021-2023) applies to England only. Equivalent schemes with different rules exist in Wales and Scotland. In Wales, the current scheme will remain in place until 2022, while the Scottish Government has recently extended Help to Buy (Scotland) until March 2022. Help to Buy is not available in Northern Ireland since the previous scheme closed to new applications in 2016. 

Help to Buy 2013-21 scheme deadline extended

Following delays caused by the pandemic, the UK Government has extended the deadline for applicants to the 2013-21 scheme. They will now have until 31 May to legally complete their purchase and collect their keys. Homebuilders now have another two months to complete construction (the previous deadline was 31 March).

The UK Government has said they will be no further extensions to the 2013-21 scheme. Those whose builds have been severely delayed and will not meet the legal completion date of 31 May must be released from their contract with the homebuilder.

Propertymark resources

There is more information on the Propertymark website on the Help to Buy and alternative schemes as well as a UK guide to first-time buyer schemes. Agents can share this information with customers and clients to help explain them to any interested parties.