First Homes scheme

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From Monday 7 February 2022 Halifax Intermediaries will accept applications on the Government First Homes scheme to support more people in buying their first home.

The Government's First Home scheme in England allows first time buyers (FTB) to purchase a New Build property at a discounted purchase price under a Resale Price Covenant (RPC). The discount (which will be a minimum 30%) must be passed on if the property is sold in the future.

Key eligibility criteria for First Homes scheme:

  • All applicants must be a First Time Buyer. Local Authorities may prioritise key workers, local residents and service personnel
  • In England only
  • New Build properties only
  • Maximum purchase price, after discount, is £250,000 (£420,000 in London)
  • Discount typically 30% but Local Authorities can increase up to 50%
  • Customer maximum income of £80,000 (£90,000 in London).

Mortgage criteria:

  • Minimum 5% personal deposit based on discounted purchase price
  • First Homes scheme specific products must be selected
  • Mortgage must be on a capital and interest repayment basis, no interest only
  • Minimum 50% Loan to Value (LTV) based on discounted purchased price.

Example:

  • Full market valuation = £100,000
    Discount of 30% (but could be higher) = £30,000
  • Discounted purchase price = £70,000
    Customer deposit required = £3,500 (5% of £70,000)
  • Maximum Loan = £66,500
  • LTV for product selection = 67% (£66,500 loan against £100,000 full market value).

A 5% personal deposit is required in addition to any incentives from the builder. The loan amount together with any incentives and any product fee being added, cannot exceed 95% of the discounted purchase price. For product selection the percentage LTV used will be loan amount against the full market value (not discounted purchase price).

On Halifax Intermediaries Online a new 'First Homes' scheme should be selected on the Scheme screen, and you will then be asked to key the percentage discount. On the Loan screen, key the discounted purchase price.

The customer should obtain an Authority to Proceed (ATP) from the Local Authority. A Decision In Principle can be keyed before ATP has been obtained by selecting the new scheme and a full application should only be submitted after ATP has been granted.

A Special Condition on the mortgage offer will state that an RPC will apply to the property. Affordable Housing Scheme Guidance Notes will be issued automatically to the conveyancer with the offer.

We continue to accept RPC schemes which are not part of the First Homes initiative, and our normal process still applies. No ‘scheme’ would be selected on the system, and you should contact us after submission to confirm the application is an RPC.

Our website Products and Criteria pages will be updated with details of the new scheme from Monday 7 February.

Our tracker rate mortgages are linked to Bank of England bank rate (also known as Bank of England repo rate). Details of this rate can be found on the Bank of England website at www.bankofengland.co.uk.

For independent information on mortgages, visit the website 'Money Advice Service'.

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