The deadline for homes to be finished to comply with the Help to Buy scheme in England has been extended until 28 February 2021, although the completion of sale deadline will remain 31 March 2021.
However, for those with reservations in place before 30 June who have experienced severe delays, Homes England will consider cases and provide an extension where necessary, giving buyers until 31 May 2021 to legally complete.
Under the current equity loan scheme in England, developers needed to have completed new homes by the end of December.
However, with many construction sites hit by shutdowns or reduced working during the coronavirus, builders have been urging the government to extend this date to accommodate building delays.
In a statement published on Friday evening, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said it was making the move “to ensure customers do not miss out if there has been a delay in construction due to the pandemic”.
Regarding buyers who have seen their cases most affected, MHCLG continued: “The government is also announcing an extra measure to protect existing customers who have experienced severe delays as a result of coronavirus.
“Homes England will work with those who had a reservation in place before 30 June to assess their situation and look to provide an extension where necessary.
“In which case, they will have until 31 May 2021 to legally complete.”
MHCLG added that there were no plans for any further extensions.
New scheme as planned
The government’s new Help to Buy scheme, which will replace the current scheme, will come into place from 1 April 2021 and run until March 2023 as planned.
The new scheme introduces property price caps and is restricted to first-time buyers only.
Housing minister Christopher Pincher said: “Today’s announcement will help provide certainty and assurance for Help to Buy customers whose new homes have been delayed due to coronavirus and affirms the government’s commitment to helping more people to own their own home.”