Business

First-time home buyers risk missing out on government scheme

Terry Robb, Ulster Bank. Picture by Kelvin Boyes

FIRST time home buyers have less than two weeks to register for a new savings scheme that could provide a bonus of up to £3,000 from the UK Government.

Ulster Bank has warned that thousands of first-time buyers could miss out on the 'help to buy' individual savings account (ISA) ahead of the November 30 deadline.

The lender's head of personal banking in the north, Terry Robb said: “Saving a deposit to buy your first home can be a challenge, but the help to buy ISA offers a real helping hand. I would urge all first-time buyers to come to talk with us about how it can help them.

“If you are saving to buy your first home, you can save money into a help to buy ISA and the government will boost your savings by 25 per cent. So, for every £200 you save, you will receive a government bonus of £50, up to a maximum of £3,000. It's a great way to build up a bigger deposit for your first home,” he added.

Recent figures from UK Finance show that the average first-time buyer deposit in the north is around £26,800.

A help to buy ISA can be used with any first-time home purchase of up to £250,000 in value in Northern Ireland; but the house purchase doesn't have to be via the help to buy shared ownership scheme.

The UK Government bonus is paid on property prices up to £250,000 in Northern Ireland. It is paid towards the completion cost of a first home.

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