Homes England has announced it will extend the deadline until 31 May for completion of the build and purchase to give buyers and builders more time to take advantage of the outgoing scheme.
Previously, the extended 31 May deadline was only applicable to those who had a reservation agreed before the 30 June 2020, with the government stating many times that it would not consider a further extension.
Last month builders were also given an extension until 31 March to complete their properties under the expiring scheme.
In a statement, Homes England said: “We are extending legal completion to 31 May 2021 due to delays caused by Coronavirus.
“This allows an extra two months for homebuilders to complete the build and for homebuyers to legally complete and get the keys to their home.
“There will be no more extensions, so we are asking homebuilders to continue to build at pace.”
Applications for the 2013-2021 scheme closed on 15 December 2020 so the extension only applies to those applications already underway.
No more extensions
Homes England has stressed no further extensions will be granted.
If a development has been severely delayed and buyers cannot meet the legal completion by 31 May 2021, homebuilders must unconditionally release buyers from their contract and should contact their conveyancer for advice.
Homebuilders must refund reservation fees if buyers do not go ahead with buying the home.
If buyers have already received an Authority to Proceed from Homes England to use the Help to Buy scheme, the homebuilder may be entitled to make certain deductions from the buyer’s reservation fee, but they must tell the buyer about this first.
If buyers have exchanged contracts the homebuilder must also return their deposit.
Applications can be made under Help to Buy: Equity Loan (2021 – 2023), available only to first-time buyers, from 16 December.
The scheme officially starts on 1 April and is planned to end on 31 March 2023.