Help to Buy Valuation | London | RICS

What is the Help to Buy Scheme?

Introduced to aid individuals in climbing the housing ladder, the government’s Help to Buy scheme has provided a lifeline to many. It's a shared equity scheme, interest-free for 5 years, designed to give people a leg-up onto the housing ladder. The primary goal was to make housing more accessible, reducing the need for hefty deposits.

Provided you have a 5% deposit and meet the criteria to apply, you’ll apply for a mortgage to cover as little as 55% of the property’s total price and borrow the remaining 40% (20% maximum outside of London) from the government. The government’s loan is interest-free for the first five years.

When you sell your property, the government will receive 40% of the equity. So, if you buy a property for £400,000 and sell it for £500,000, the government will receive £200,000 and you will get £300,000. You will need to pay off your mortgage with your share of the profits.

Why Do You Need a Help to Buy Valuation?

When you're looking to repay or refinance your equity loan, you must obtain an accurate property RICS valuation. This valuation determines the market value of your property, which in turn dictates how much you should repay. This valuation must be accurate, especially as the amount you owe is calculated based on on the property valuation.

How Does Help to Buy Redemption Work?

Help to Buy redemption is when you want to repay your loan you borrowed from the government. The amount you pay back is tied to the current market value of your property, requiring independent help to buy valuation. The valuation report must be supplied to HCA (Homes and Communities Agency), which administers the loan redemption process.

What is Equity and How Does It Affect Repayment?

Equity refers to the percentage of the property you genuinely own. As your property's value increases, the equity you hold in the property also rises. The government's equity loan is based on a percentage, so when the value of your property grows or falls, the loan amount you need to repay will also change.

Help to Buy Valuation | London | RICS, Harding Chartered Surveyors

RICS Help to Buy Valuation Report Quote

Help to Buy Valuation | London | RICS, Harding Chartered Surveyors

Benefits of a Help To Buy Scheme

Thanks to Help to Buy, people aspiring to move to or relocate in London can purchase a new-build home with just a 5% deposit, and the government will loan up to 40% of the total purchase price. The scheme is helping thousands of new homebuyers purchase their first property without risking all their savings – could it be what you need to make your home ownership dreams a reality?

It’s worth noting that while the Help to Buy scheme has many benefits, it’s not the government’s responsibility to ensure the property you purchase is defect-free. Even new-builds are often rife with costly defects, so if you want to know you’re investing wisely, it’s best to obtain a snagging list from a Chartered Surveyor before making an offer.

Who Qualifies for a Help to Buy Loan in London?

Homeowners looking to relocate and first-time buyers can apply for a Help to Buy equity loan for a new-build London property worth up to £600,000. You can’t own any property when applying for a Help to Buy loan, nor can you sublet the property you purchase under the scheme.

Help to Buy is only available in England, and separate loan rules and criteria apply to regions outside of London. The devolved governments administer similar schemes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Staircasing: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?

Staircasing is the process of purchasing additional shares in your shared ownership property. It's an essential part of the Help to Buy journey, allowing homeowners to own a more significant portion of their home. An accurate Help to Buy valuation is required to determine the price of the additional shares.

How to Apply for Help to Buy

The Government-appointed Help to Buy London agent can guide you through applying for a Help to Buy equity loan, from handling your application to providing general property advice. Find more information by visiting or calling 0300 5000996.

While a Help to Buy equity loan can help you purchase a home, it can’t highlight any areas that need improving or urgent defects. You might assume all newly built properties are in near-perfect condition, but a recent study suggests that the average new-build hides up to 150 defects.

Help to Buy Valuation | London | RICS, Harding Chartered Surveyors

Help to Buy RICS Registered Valuer

For those considering the Help to Buy Scheme and aiming to safeguard their savings, we recommend procuring a snagging list prior to property purchase. With a minimal investment, Harding Chartered Surveyors can provide you with a detailed report, empowering you to ensure your developer or builder addresses necessary repairs at no additional cost. We have offices across London and are more than happy with 'Help to Buy valuations, we can inspect the property and return a valuation report back to you within 5 - 7 working days. Contact our RICS Chartered Surveyors at 020 7736 2383 to discuss your specific needs.

Harding Chartered Surveyors ensures compliance with the guidelines established by the Help to Buy scheme.

The stipulations include:

  • The valuer should possess the esteemed RICS qualification.
  • The valuer must operate independently from estate agents.
  • The report needs to feature on official letterhead, accompanied by the signature of the RICS-accredited surveyor.
  • A minimum of three comparable properties, along with their sale prices, should be presented by the valuer.
  • The provided comparables should match in terms of property type, dimensions, age and within a 2-mile radius of the property under inspection.
  • An in-depth inspection of the property's interior is a must, followed by a comprehensive valuation report.
  • The final report should be shared in a non-editable format, preferably PDF.