First-time buyers have around four months left to open a help-to-buy ISA, before the scheme closes to new applicants on 30 November 2019.

The help-to-buy ISA allows people to receive a 25% government bonus on savings they use to buy their first home, up to a maximum of £3,000.

According to the most recent Treasury statistics, the scheme has supported a total of 234,074 property completions since it was launched, with 18,682 taking place in the first three months of 2019.

Savers received an average bonus of £920, and the mean value of a property purchased through the scheme was £173,470.

Once the scheme closes, any existing account holders can continue saving into their account until 30 November 2029.

After this point, no further contributions can be made and the bonus must be claimed by 1 December 2030.

First-time buyers can also use the lifetime ISA to save towards buying a home, or to contribute towards their retirement savings.

This also offers a 25% government bonus, but it potentially provides more generous returns than the help-to-buy scheme, as the bonus could be as high as £33,000 for someone saving up to the maximum amount in every year between ages 18 and 49.

Most of the main banking institutions are able to offer the product which can make a significant difference to first time buyers saving for a deposit.

Equally the closing deadline of 30 November 2019 is for new applicants. The deadline to utilise the ISA to purchase a property is 1 December 2030, or eleven years, giving plenty of time to have access to the 25% bonus.

The Help-to-buy ISA is one saving mechanism and is aimed at those looking to buy a first property. This should be considered as part of an overall investment and savings plan and appropriate professional advice should be sought before making savings decisions.


Financial Planning and Wealth Management