Julie James, Minister for Climate Change
Help to Buy Wales has supported thousands of people to realise their dream of home ownership since it was launched in January 2014, with more than 13,400 homes delivered through the scheme.
The UK Government closed applications to Help to Buy in England at the end of October, but here in Wales, the scheme has continued to be an important source of support for the housing industry and supply chains.
It has also been used as a mechanism to bring about desired change within the housing industry. Phase two saw the end of the delivery of leasehold houses. Phase three has seen improvements in quality, broadband, ‘peppercorn’ level ground rent charges and the requirement for estate management fees, and any other charges, to be provided in writing before a deposit for a home is accepted.
The current phase of the scheme is due to close to applications at the end of March 2023.
Today I am announcing my intention to extend Help to Buy Wales for a further two years, until March 2025.
It is important to ensure that the extension to the scheme takes account of changes in the housing market, the impact of the current economic climate on potential home-owners and the housing industry.
I will, therefore, introduce a new price cap of £300,000 for Help to Buy Wales from April 2023, in line with increases in average house prices in Wales. Working towards our goals of improving the energy efficiency of homes, all homes purchased with the support of the scheme will need to reach a minimum of Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) B.
This extension has been developed with the support of UK Finance, the Home Builders Federation, the Federation of Master Builders and the Development Bank of Wales.
The Welsh Government wants to ensure support for potential new home-owners continues to be relevant and targeted at those who most need it, particularly in these economically challenging times.
I have asked my officials to commission research into the future needs of home buyers, and the role Help to Buy Wales can play to meet those needs. The research findings, which will be available in the summer, will underpin future planning to support people wishing to buy a home.
In making this announcement today I am providing certainty to people who are hoping to buy a home and offering support to more than 90 developers and SMEs registered to deliver the scheme.