On the 1st of December 2015, the Help to Buy ISA savings account was launched. Since then, at least 140,000 people have opened one. This is great news for first-time buyers, who can now earn up to 4% tax-free interest on their savings. On top of this, the Government will pay a 25% bonus when you buy your first home; an offer worth considering.

The Help to Buy ISA is simple to open as it’s the same process of opening a normal cash ISA account. Anyone 16 and over can open an account; reasonable enough, and the deal only applies to first-time buyers, which means anyone who hasn’t previously owned a home or owned any land in the UK or abroad. If you are a couple you can both open an account and you will be treated individually, meaning you can save twice as much and double your bonus when buying a house together.

For those of you thinking H2B ISA isn’t worth bothering with as house prices mean that you will simply never get on the housing ladder, perhaps it’s worth a 2nd look. Ok so the maximum bonus is £3,000 if you can manage to save the full £12,000, which may be short of the minimum deposit you will need to buy a property in the South. But the government are working hard behind the scenes to get the first time buyer market moving. As well as Help to Buy 1 and 2, they are planning to launch their “starter homes” scheme which is an initiative that gives first time buyers 20% off new build properties, later in the year.

There is also talk of more of my personal favourite – Shared Ownership schemes! So if you open a H2B ISA now, by the time you are ready to move, who knows a combination of any of the above may mean you are on your way to your first home.

(Parents thinking their kids will never leave home – take note!)

For more information contact us on 01628 507477 to speak to a mortgage advisor.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

There will be no fee for Mortgage Advice. There may be a fee for arranging a mortgage. The precise amount will depend upon your circumstances, but we estimate it to be between £399 and £599.

Mortgage Required Ltd, Finance House, 5 Bath Road, Maidenhead, SL6 4AQ is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority reference 573718 at www.fca.org.uk.

The Financial Ombudsman Service is an agency for arbitrating on unresolved complaints between regulated firms and their clients. More detail can be found on their website: www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk