Help to Buy Options

Help to Buy South offers a number of different options for purchasing an affordable home and these are explained in brief below:

Help to Buy: Equity Loan

The Equity Loan scheme is available to both first time buyers and those that have bought a property before. If you have a minimum 5% deposit and want to buy a new build home (maximum full purchase price £600,000), you'll be able to access the Equity Loan scheme. You will need to be able to take out a mortgage for 75% of the value of the property and the remaining 20% will be funded by the government (you can apply for an equity loan from a minimum 5% up to a maximum 20% of the full purchase price).

How to apply for the Equity Loan scheme:

  • Find a property with a developer that is offering the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme (these will be new build homes on selected sites)
  • Complete a reservation form with the developer
  • Fill in a Property Information Form on line (click here)
  • Documents will be processed within 4 working days

Click here for the Help to Buy: Equity Loan Calculator

To download your copy of the Help to Buy: Equity Loan Buyers Guide, please click here

Click here to find Help to Buy properties currently available

If you have purchased a property via the Equity Loan Scheme, please contact Target at myfirsthome. Tel 0345 848 0235 for all post sale enquiries

If you are a developer

Developers wanting to apply for funding through the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme can find the registration document and submission forms on the Homes England (prev Homes & Communities Agency (HCA)) website here.

Developers (in contract with Homes England - prev HCA) wanting to advertise on Help to Buy South can contact


Help to Buy: Shared Ownership

With Shared Ownership, homes are mainly brand new flats or houses for sale on a part buy/part rent basis through different housing associations. It is possible to purchase shares of between 25% to 75% of the home's value and you pay a low rent on the remaining share. Please note that if you buy a flat you will also have to pay service charges to cover the cost of maintenance of communal areas. All applicants are expected to purchase the maximum share that is assessed as affordable.

Click here for more information on the Help to Buy: Shared Ownership scheme

Click here to find Help to Buy properties currently available

Applicants with sufficient savings or equity to be able to purchase a suitable property on the open market are not eligible for the scheme.

Shared Ownership - Resales

Resales are homes offered for sale by existing shared owners where you can purchase the existing share (or more) and own the home on a shared ownership basis. A low rent is payable on the remaining share. Resale properties vary in age, size, property type and location and are available through different housing associations.

Shared Ownership - Over 55's/Older Persons Shared Ownership (OPSO)

Some Shared Ownership schemes (new and resale) are for people over the age of 55 only eg OPSO. The scheme works in the same way as Shared Ownership does, so you will still need to demonstrate that you can afford to purchase a share in the home, as well as being able to pay the rent and service charges on the remaining share. Some of these properties are within sheltered schemes and a service charge will be payable for the maintenance of the common areas, the garden and the services of the scheme manager. Please see the housing association's property details for more information.

Extra Care schemes

Extra Care schemes work the same as OPSO with the added benefit of onsite care. This allows residents to live independently in self-contained, modern homes with access to care and support. Please inform Help to Buy South if your application is for an extra care scheme. 

Shared Ownership - Home Ownership for people with long term disabilities (HOLD)

HOLD is a variant form of Help to Buy: Shared Ownership. Designed to assist people with a long term disability to purchase a suitable home, where there are no such properties being offered where they need to live.

If you have a particular disability linked housing need then HOLD may provide an opportunity to buy your home and live independently. This may only be an option where there are no other Help to Buy properties that are suitable due to the nature of your disability, and you will need to be able to afford to buy the initial share and pay rent on the remaining share.

Please be aware that HOLD may not be available through all housing associations and participation of providers to make HOLD available is at their discretion.

If there are no suitable Help to Buy: Shared Ownership properties in the area you need to live, you may wish to contact Advance who specialise in Shared Ownership for people with long-term disabilities, mental health issues and learning disabilities.

For more information on Advance including case studies and how to find out whether you are eligibile for the scheme, please click here and here.

For more information or to make an application with Advance, please click here or call 0333 012 4307.

Alternatively you may wish to speak with your Local Authority for more housing options.


Other options

There are other local and regional schemes and some information is below. If you are looking for more options to get a step on the property ladder, please contact your Local Authority for information on any schemes they may offer.

Help to Buy: ISA

If you are saving to buy your first home, save money into a Help to Buy: ISA and the government will boost your savings by 25%. So, for every £200 you save, receive a government bonus of £50. The maximum government bonus you can receive is £3,000. This scheme is not administered via Help to Buy Agents, and you must contact participating lenders directly for full information or click here.

Starter Homes

The Government has announced a new Starter Homes Initiative in England that aims to help young first-time buyers (below 40 years) purchase a home with a minimum 20% discount off the market price.

If you would like to find out more information on the Starter Homes scheme, please click here

If you're a homebuilder interested in the scheme, but not a member of the HBF, sign up here

Developer Schemes

Some developers are providing alternative affordable housing schemes. These are not developed using Government funding, so they do not carry the Help to Buy branding but still offer an affordable option to becoming a home owner.

Forces Help to Buy Scheme

For more information please contact the Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO) on 01252 787574 or e-mail:

Take a look at this success story of how Forces Help to Buy have assisted a young soldier get onto the property ladder. Click here. 

Please note: This scheme is not being administered by England's Government appointed Help to Buy Agents.

Discount Market Sale

Discount Market Sale properties are sold with a discount of between 20-50%.

Local Authorities have confirmed that there will be a restriction on these properties to ensure that there is affordable housing available for people who are struggling to get on the housing ladder and therefore a discount is available to help.

Generally the restriction on the property requires the purchasers to have a local connection to the area the property is in.

If you are interested in purchasing a Discount Market Sale property, please seek advice from the Local Authority in regards to any restrictions on the property.

Catalyst Equity Loan Scheme

Regional Equity Loans involve Catalyst Housing working with certain boroughs to create bespoke open market equity loan products aimed at mainly first time buyers who live in the Oxfordshire and Berkshire areas. Depending on your circumstances you could have access up to £50,000 to buy your new home.

Click here to find out more