The New ISA: a little Help to Buy…

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Julia Grimes
Published: 18 Nov 2015 Updated: 03 May 2016

The New ISA: a little Help to Buy…

The next phase of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme will be launched on 1st December 2015, when the Help to Buy: ISA is made available. David Smith, Director of Financial Planning at Tilney Bestinvest, analyses the impending release of the Government’s latest initiative.

“So far, the Help to Buy scheme has helped people attain affordable financing in purchasing new build homes through the Equity Loan, albeit in the short term. It has also stimulated the high Loan to Value mortgage market with the introduction of the Mortgage Guarantee. However for first time buyers even a deposit of 5% (approximately £9,327 based upon the average UK house price in September[1]) is hard for young people to come by, hence the introduction of the Help to Buy: ISA. It’s certainly needed as the Council of Mortgage Lenders said that in 2014, only 48% of first time buyers are purchasing their first home unassisted.

“On 1st December an individual who has never personally owned a home can open a Help to Buy: ISA, enjoy tax free interest throughout and receive a contribution from the Government of 25% of the value, to go towards the deposit for their first home. A minimum amount of £1,600 needs to be built up within the ISA to qualify for the Government contribution, with the maximum boost being £3,000 for savings of £12,000 and above. Interestingly, it is one ISA per individual, not per home meaning couples can double up their allowance. It will be available to open for four years and the bonus will be payable via a solicitor at the point of house purchase, whenever this may be. If you don’t buy a house, you don’t get the bonus.

“Although each first-time buyer can only open one Help to Buy: ISA, they don’t have to stick with the same product throughout the lifetime of the scheme and can transfer out to a different provider. However, it’s only possible to pay into one Cash ISA a year, so holding a Help to Buy: ISA will mean you won’t be able to pay into another Cash ISA as well; you can however pay the maximum into a stocks and shares ISA in the same year. Not surprisingly, you won’t be able to use a Help to Buy ISA if you’re going to rent out the property, or to buy an overseas property.

“The Help to Buy: ISA is no doubt a well-intentioned policy, boosting savings for first time buyers by 25% but it is not without its limitations. There is no investment capability; cash being the only savings option and with interest rates currently as they are, growth will be limited. Needless to say, more could be done: the opportunity to allow investment in stocks and shares and long-term availability would be a start. Above all, the maximum government contribution should be increased; whilst welcomed, £3,000 is barely sufficient to cover the fees of purchase in many instances, never mind making a significant contribution to the equity in the property.

“Nevertheless, for those looking to buy their first home, the opportunity of savings protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and a 25% uplift – the equivalent of tax free savings for a basic rate taxpayer –the Help to Buy: ISA is a no brainer. I only hope that such a regime is simply another step in a sequence of initiatives rather than the last throw of the dice to help our struggling first time buyers.”

Help to Buy: ISA – at a glance

Maximum Initial Deposit


Maximum Monthly Deposit


Maximum Government Contribution


Minimum Government Contribution


Account Available To Open For;

The Next Four Years

Minimum Term To Secure Bonus

None (but minimum value of £1600 required to qualify for bonus)



Maximum House purchase price

£450,000 London, £250,000 rest of UK


Permitted at any time, Government contribution however, only made through a solicitor upon purchase of new home

David Smith is available for further comment on pension, tax and financial planning issues that emerge from the Autumn Statement on 0191 269 9971 or

- ENDS –

[1] Source: UK Land Registry House Price Index September 2015

Press contacts:

Gillian Kyle
0203 818 6846 / 07989 650 604

Matthew Gray
0207 189 2492

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About Tilney Bestinvest

Tilney Bestinvest is a leading investment and financial planning firm that builds on a heritage of more than 150 years. We look after more than £9 billion of assets on our clients’ behalf and pride ourselves on offering the very highest levels of professional client service with transparent, competitive pricing across our entire range of solutions.

We offer a range of services for clients whether they would like to have their investments managed by us, require the support of a highly qualified adviser, prefer to make their own investment decisions or want to take more than one approach. We also have a nationwide team of expert financial planners to help clients with all aspects of financial planning, including retirement planning.

We have won numerous awards including UK Wealth Manager of the Year, Low-cost SIPP Provider of the Year and Self-select ISA Provider of the Year 2013, as voted by readers of the Financial Times and Investors Chronicle. We are pleased that our greatest source of new business is personal referrals from existing clients.

Headquartered in Mayfair, London, Tilney Bestinvest employs almost 400 staff across our network of offices, giving us full UK coverage, and we combine our award-winning research and expertise to provide a personalised service to clients whatever their investment needs.

The Tilney Bestinvest Group of Companies comprises the firms Bestinvest (Brokers) Ltd (Reg. No. 2830297), Tilney Investment Management (Reg. No. 02010520), Bestinvest (Consultants) Ltd (Reg. No. 1550116) and HW Financial Services Ltd (Reg. No. 02030706) all of which are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office: 6 Chesterfield Gardens, Mayfair, W1J 5BQ.

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This release was previously published on Tilney Smith & Williamson prior to the launch of Evelyn Partners.