‘We still feel stranded’: despite Help to Buy extension many buyers will lose money and miss out on homes

‘We still feel stranded’. Vet Alexandra Muresan  (Daniel Lynch)
‘We still feel stranded’. Vet Alexandra Muresan (Daniel Lynch)

Last week, Homes & Property reported how hundreds of Londoners who had signed up to the Help to Buy loan scheme were at risk of losing out on owning their first home because an administrative deadline demanded their new-builds be completed by December 31.

However, the legal completion deadline isn’t until March 31 next year.

Following the publication of our article, the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has agreed to extend the build deadline by one month.

“Supporting aspiring homeowners is a government priority. We have extended the Help to Buy deadline to make sure people do not lose out because of delays to completing their homes,” said a ministry spokesperson.

Charlie Cook says he will miss the deadline, even with the extension (Daniel Lynch)
Charlie Cook says he will miss the deadline, even with the extension (Daniel Lynch)

“Housebuilders must ensure they finish building work on all properties by January 31.”

To receive this extension, housebuilders will need to apply to Homes England by December 20.

The extension will not help everyone who was at risk of missing the original build deadline. Vet Alexandra Muresan, 35, has been saving for 10 years to buy a three-bedroom house in Ebbsfleet.

“We are just hoping that Homes England will be a bit more flexible regarding the new deadline as many of us may not make the new deadline, so we are continuing our campaign regarding this. , We still feel stranded no better off really.”

Charlie Cook is buying in Hornchurch and the new deadline isn’t quite enough for him either.

“I am very disappointed with the extension given by Lucy Frazer [the minister of state at DLUHC]. I appreciate something has been done, however this doesn’t really help many people that are in this position.

“It only takes around 10 days to legally complete, so I don’t understand why they haven’t given the developers more time [the end of February or early March] to complete the building.”

Cook has been living with his parents and, if he misses out on the Help to Buy loan, estimates that it will delay him getting on the property ladder by two years.

“This is becoming a very stressful process, when moving into your first home should be a good experience. I have already been told by my developer that they won’t meet the new date of January 31, 2023 — so, without another extension, I will lose out on buying my first home.”

Homes & Property has contacted the DLUHC but has not received a response.