What’s replacing Help to Buy?

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As a first-time buyer, you may have heard of the Help to Buy scheme. What you may not know, is that Help to Buy ends on 31st March 2023.

The government scheme was designed to support first-time buyers with purchasing a new build property by enabling them to purchase a home with as little as a 5% deposit. Help to Buy has been a hugely successful scheme, allowing more budding homeowners the ability to get onto the property ladder.

With the scheme ending, first-time buyers across the country are posing the question, ‘what will be replacing Help to Buy?’.

The short answer:

There is no direct replacement. But there are other schemes available that are designed to help first-time buyers get on to the property ladder.

First things first

We understand that every industry is, at times, guilty of throwing their own terminology and jargon around without batting an eyelid and assuming everyone will catch on. The difference is with us here at Sims Williams, we don’t believe that you should risk any miscommunication when dealing with such a significant investment.

To help you to feel informed and secure that you understand everything that’s going on at each stage of the process, we’ve created a 3-minute summary of the schemes that are currently in place.

Deposit Unlock

One of the newer schemes in place today. It was created by the Home Buildings Federation (the body that represents housing developers) and the reinsurance firm ‘Gallagher Re’.

Deposit Unlock is designed exclusively for new build properties and is accessible for first-time buyers and home movers. It aims to fill the gap that the Help to Buy scheme will leave in the market when it finishes later this month, and will continue to support people on to the property ladder.

Mortgage lenders often impose tighter restrictions on high loan-to-value (LTV) mortgages for new build properties as a way to protect themselves from any depreciation over the first few years. The Deposit Unlock Scheme aims to make mortgage lenders more comfortable with providing high LTV mortgages for new builds. It is able to provide security for the lender because the registered home builder pays to insure the mortgage and uses some of the money from the house sale to do this. 

The main advantage of this scheme for potential buyers is that it provides the opportunity to purchase a new build property with only a 5% deposit rather than the usual 15% – 25% deposit that is notoriously imposed on new build properties.

Further information about the Deposit Unlock Scheme can be found here

First Homes Discount

The First Homes Discount scheme was designed to assist first-time buyers with getting onto the property ladder and purchase their first home at 30-50% less than it’s market value. It is exclusively available in England. 

Through this scheme, you can purchase a new build property from a developer, or a ‘second-hand’ new build which was initially bought as part of the same scheme. 

There are a number of restrictions, exemptions and criteria concerning eligibility laid out by HMRC that you can read further about here.

Shared Ownership

Also known as the part-buy, part-rent scheme, this will allow you to purchase a share of a leasehold property. First-time buyers can purchase anything from 10% up to 75% of the property’s full market value. 

The rules surrounding this scheme vary depending on where you live in the United Kingdom, so make sure you research this thoroughly. The HMRC provides a good explanation of everything you need to know here.

It is the longest-standing scheme on the market and enables people who are unable to deliver the resources required for a deposit and mortgage payments to still get their foot on the property ladder. 

That’s a wrap

Hopefully this has given you some food for thought if you’re looking to get on the property ladder! 

We are always here to help you and answer any questions you may have about our industry and services. 

Sims Williams is an estate and letting agent covering Arundel, Bognor Regis, Chichester and The Six Villages. If you have been considering investing via any of these schemes and would like to discuss the available properties that are available to you in the current market please do get in touch.


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What our clients say

Helpful & efficient!

SW estate agent in Arundel have been excellent throughout the protracted period of my house purchase. They were kind and helpful and responded to queries very quickly and efficiently .They even offered support once completion had taken place which I suspect is above and beyond what might be expected. I would not hesitate to recommend them and am very grateful for both their friendliness and professionalism.
Gill - Buyer - Nov 4th, 2022

Helpful, Efficient & Friendly

Thank you all so much for you all your help and support in selling 18 Green Lane for us, you’ve all been so helpful, quick to respond, friendly and well you sold it really quickly! I have already recommended you to a number of friends and will continue to do so, my parents bought from you over 20 years ago and you have continued to be fantastic.
Julia - Vendor - Jun 18th, 2021

One Word - Fantastic.

We don’t normally write reviews, but on this occasion we had too. In life you get what you pay for, whilst I’m sure that there are cheaper agents out there; if you want a stress free move with knowledgeable, friendly and dedicated agents, that give excellent communication, then look no further than Sims Williams. We dealt with John, Annie and Vanessa, we sold and purchased through them. The Team in the Bognor Branch is fantastic, we couldn’t of hoped for better agents to support us through the journey which wasn’t always the easiest but they communicated to either side of the chain fantastically, keeping stress to a minimum and helped us through the bumps to complete in 11 weeks. A big thank you to you all, and in the future we wouldn’t look anywhere else. Sam and Lisa.
Mr & Mrs Poston - Dec 7th, 2021

Excellent Letting Team

The Chichester team has been managing our seven West Sussex rental properties for the last few years and we highly recommend them. Efficient, knowledgeable, organized, and pleasant to deal with. The service they offer is great value for money and leaves us confident that our tenants and properties will be well looked after.
JB Properties - Landlord - Dec 13th, 2023

Professional Service

We have used Sims Williams on four occasions and have found their services excellent on each occasion. Buying and selling never an easy ride and when problems have arisen Sims have been very efficient at dealing with them. Would highly recommend them.
Valerie - Vendor - Jul 12th, 2021

Efficient and friendly service

We have used Sims Williams for many years as letting agents for our rental property. Jo is extremely knowledgeable and provides and very efficient service.
Debbie - Landlord - Jun 12th, 2023


We’d had a bit of a journey with our house sale. All the ladies went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure everything went smoothly and we were happy.
Kelly R - Vendor -

Fabulous Service Thank you

We bought a wonderful house in Burpham through Sims and must compliment the entire team on their professionalism, follow through and continuous efficiency. Tamsin, Emma, Lynne & Helena, thank you all for your amazing work. House buying is stressful but helped when communication is clear and efficient, Sims excelled in this area. Linda & Mark x
Linda & Mark - Buyers - Nov 29th, 2021

Highly recommended

The diocese of Chichester instructed Sims Williams. From start to finish, I have been very impressed with their very professional and friendly service. Great communication at all times. Susie Jones was excellent in progressing the sale and always very helpful. Highly recommended.
Philip- Vendor - Jan 6th, 2023

Fantastic service

We have nothing but superlatives to say about the professional service we received from John Richards-Wyatt and his team from start to finish. We were always kept in the loop for viewings and feedback from those viewings. Sims Williams supported us and worked hard to a successful outcome in the sale of our property so I would highly recommend their services to others.
Jerry- Vendor - Dec 8th, 2021