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Buying a home, already bought a home or are a building a home using the Help to Buy scheme during the coronavirus pandemic.

First published:
30 June 2020
Last updated:

Introduction

To protect our customers, partners, colleagues and their families, we are working closely with the Welsh Government and adapting quickly to the changing situation. We have changed the way that we provide our service and we are currently using remote working methods and technology to help us. 

Some services are affected and others are taking longer than usual to provide. We are trying our best to adapt in these very unusual circumstances and we are working very closely with every one of our partners.

If you have a question that your house builder, solicitor or moving company cannot answer, please contact us. Calls and emails are taking longer to respond to, but we will do all we can to respond to your query.

This guidance will not overrule or replace any Welsh Government advice on Help to Buy Wales: Equity Loan that may be issued now or in the future. 

Can my house purchase, which involves me securing a Help to Buy Wales: Equity Loan go ahead during this period of coronavirus lockdown?

All Help to Buy Wales customers, their solicitor or conveyancers, mortgage advisors, house builders and other parties in the purchasing and home moving process must first refer to the latest Welsh Government advice.

Will my Help to Buy Wales: Equity Loan 'Authority to Proceed' remain valid if I cannot move during the lockdown period, especially if it goes on longer than the current three weeks?

We do not know how long the coronavirus lockdown rules will remain in place. However, some mortgage lenders have committed to keeping existing mortgage offers open for three months. If your first charge (main) mortgage lender has agreed to this in your case, then your Help to Buy Wales: Equity Loan 'Authority to Proceed' will remain valid for the same period of time.

My 'Authority to Proceed' is based on a valuation carried out before the coronavirus lockdown, will you still honour it, even if potentially the value of the house I am buying falls?

We will continue to honour Help to Buy Wales: Equity Loans agreed with home buyers. We would not require a revaluation, on the basis that the main lender remains happy to proceed.
 

Will you accept desktop valuations?

Yes. If your main mortgage lender is using a desktop valuation to support its mortgage offer, that is acceptable for Help to Buy – Wales.
 

My RICS surveyor is unable to come to my home during coronavirus to carry out a valuation report. Can I use a desktop valuation instead?

As above. If your main mortgage lender is using a desktop valuation to support its mortgage offer, that is acceptable for Help to Buy.
 

I have reserved a new house off-plan on a development site, will work continue on it and will it be ready on time? 

At the current time, some Help to Buy Wales registered house builders continue their work on sites. Others have stopped for safety reasons and are only offering residents essential maintenance services. Each house builder is taking their own approach as nobody knows how long these rules will be in place. Your best option is to contact your house builder to find out more.
 

I have reserved a home and secured the go ahead for a Help to Buy Wales: Equity Loan, but since then I have lost my job due to the coronavirus lockdown. Can I pull out of the deal?

Your circumstances will depend, on the reservation terms and conditions set down in your purchasing contract, the developer may be entitled to deduct any reasonable costs they may have already incurred. Contact your house builder and solicitor to understand your options.

I am desperate to get on with the completion of my Help to Buy Wales home but delays due to the coronavirus lockdown have meant my 'Authority to Proceed' has expired. I am worried I am going to lose my home, what can I do?

We are in exceptional circumstances and we understand your position. Please contact us and request an extension on your 'Authority to Proceed' as this will allow your house purchase to continue. Phone lines and emails will be busier than normal since offices are closed and we are working from home, following the guidance from Public Health Wales.
 

​​​​​​​I have exchanged contracts on a new home and have a Help to Buy Wales: Equity Loan agreed. Will I be able to complete my purchase? 

We are trying our best to provide our service while working remotely as our offices are closed. If you are due to exchange contracts in the next few weeks it is important to discuss your individual circumstances with your solicitor and house builder. They will be able to advise you in the next steps. 

I have exchanged contracts on a home with a Help to Buy Wales: Equity Loan agreed. Due to the impact of the coronavirus lockdown I cannot afford the move anymore and wish to pull out of the deal, can I do so?

You need to speak to your house builder and solicitor as soon as possible. We will work with your builder and solicitor to support you. 
 

I am due to complete my house sale in the next few days and I am worried that my moving company will not move me because of coronavirus. What can I do? 

All Help to Buy Wales customers, their solicitor/conveyancers, mortgage advisors, house builders and other parties in the purchasing and home moving process must first refer to the latest Welsh Government advice.
 

My builder has gone bust due to the impact of the coronavirus lockdown after we had exchanged contracts, but we will not be able to complete on the planned purchase of our home with a Help to Buy Wales: Equity Loan. Can I get my deposit back? 

You will need to contact your solicitor or conveyancer. They will review the contract you signed with your house builder to understand how the builder holds your deposit and whether it is possible to get it back.

I have started paying my interest fees but I am no longer working due to coronavirus, am I eligible for a payment holiday and how do I apply?

You can apply to put your Help to Buy Wales: Equity Loan interest fees on hold for up to three months, if you are struggling to pay the interest fees on your equity loan, because you:

  • have contracted coronavirus 
  • need to care for a family member who is suffering from coronavirus
  • are a permanent, temporary, full time employee or contractor who has had their working hours reduced either temporarily or permanently

What happens at the end of my payment holiday?

When the payment holiday ends, your equity loan payments will return to the normal monthly amount. The important thing to remember is that the amount you owe will increase by the interest amount that has not paid during your payment holiday. Also, during your payment holiday interest will continue to be added to your account at the same rate that is in your loan agreement. 
 

I am a small developer and applied for Help to Buy contract registration for 2020 to 2021. Coronavirus is making me very nervous to commit as I fear it could cause house prices to fall and Welsh Government funding for your scheme to be withdrawn

We are determined to support the government and closely follow their guidelines. We will continue working with our partners to complete house purchases and build new homes. We will be providing updates on changes to the way we are working, but we remain determined to continue operating as usual.

The information on my Authority to Proceed or Authority to Exchange still includes details of Land Transaction Tax. Do I need to get this changed?

We do not want to slow down your purchase and have decided not to reissue or amend paperwork. Your home builder and solicitor will be able to make any changes that are needed.

My builder agreed to pay my Land Transaction tax as an incentive to buy, what should I do?

This is an agreement between you and your home builder. Please speak to your home builder and solicitor about the options available to you.

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