Fri 22 Nov 2019
People only have a matter of weeks left to sign up for a Help To Buy ISA, designed to help first-time buyers save for a house deposit.
If you get an account, the government will add 25% to your savings, up to a maximum of £3,000 on savings of £12,000. This means that for every £1,000 you put in, the government adds £250 to the pot – until you reach the cap.
However, the Help to Buy ISA will close to new accounts at midnight on 30 November 2019. If you have already opened an account – or do so before the deadline – you’ll be able to continue saving until November 2029.
What do you need to know about getting one?
Firstly, people can only qualify for this type of account if they’re first-time buyers and do not own a property anywhere else in the world.
Couples buying their first home together can both sign up for individual accounts, which is particularly attractive as it means the grand total of money you can get from the government is doubled – a whopping £6,000.
You can open an account with any bank, building society or credit union that offers a Help to Buy ISA account. The money from the ISA can be used to buy any home in the UK worth up to £250,000 (or up to £450,000 if you’re buying a brand-new home in London). It can’t, however, be used to buy properties abroad or used for somewhere you’re going to rent out to somebody else.
It’s worth noting the government won’t start adding the 25% bonus until you’ve put a minimum of £1,600 in the account, according to the Money Advice Service. You can put a maximum of £1,200 into the account in the first month and a further £200 each month after that.