Mortgage guides

Help to Buy & home ownership schemes

You could own your own home with as little as a 5% deposit. Find out more about help to buy schemes.

NatWest mortgages are available to over 18s. Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. The content on this page is guidance only and does not constitute advice.
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What is Help to Buy?

'Help to Buy' is the name given to a number of UK government backed home ownership schemes.

A number of the more popular home ownership schemes have now ended including Help to Buy ISA and the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme in England.

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When are the Help to Buy: Equity Loan schemes ending?

What are the home ownership schemes?

There are a number of different home ownership schemes that can help first time buyers to buy their own home. However, each scheme has a different name and helps people in different ways so it can be confusing. We have listed some of the main help to buy schemes that are still available as well as those that have ended.

Which home ownership schemes have ended?

Some of the most popular schemes have now ended to new applicants. We have included further information about what these schemes involved.

Help to Buy: Equity Loan Scheme

The Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme was a government incentive designed to help those purchasing property with a first time buyer mortgage.

The scheme allowed first time buyers to take out an equity loan to cover from 5% and up to 20% of the property purchase price of a newly built home (up to 40% if the property is in London). 

You can no longer apply for a Help to Buy: Equity Loan in England however, If you applied by 6pm on 31 October 2022, your application will still be processed.

For more detailed information, visit the Gov.uk website or see Help to Buy: Equity Loan frequently asked questions.

Help to Buy: Equity Loan FAQs

Shared ownership and Right to Buy

Two other home ownership schemes that may be of interest are shared ownership and Right to Buy. You can read a brief description of these schemes below, with more detailed information available on the Gov.uk website.

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All of these schemes are subject to eligibility criteria for both the borrower and the property being purchased.

Shared ownership

  • With shared ownership, buyers take out a mortgage for a portion of a property and then pay rent on the remaining share.
  • Over time, they can increase their percentage of ownership and generally, can eventually become the outright owner.
  • All shared ownership homes are leasehold properties.
  • We don't currently offer mortgages on properties purchased via shared ownership (i.e. where the buyer's ownership will be lower than 100%).
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Right to Buy

  • The Right to Buy scheme allows eligible council and housing association tenants to buy their home in England with a discount of up to £84,600 (£112,800 in London).
  • Full eligibility can be found on the gov.uk website, including an eligibility checker tool. The scheme is only available to those who have had a public sector landlord for at least 3 years and are secure tenants.
  • We don't currently accept online mortgage applications for those purchasing property via the Right to Buy scheme, but you can speak with one of our qualified mortgage advisers to apply.
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What about a Help to Buy: ISA?

Mortgage Guarantee Scheme

  • The UK government mortgage guarantee scheme was launched in April 2021.
  • The scheme provided support for banking institutions to offer 91% - 95% LTV mortgages
  • Mortgages issued under the scheme were backed by the UK Government. This meant, if you were unable to pay back what you borrow, the UK Government would financially support the lender to help mitigate any losses.

NatWest is no longer taking part in the UK Government Mortgage Guarantee scheme

Although we're no longer part of the scheme, we are still offering 95% mortgages.

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