With effect from today there has been a subtle update to eligibility rules for the Forces Help to buy, this is because the existing eligibility criteria differs across the single Services and means that some with extended Phase 2 training are excluded from the scheme for much longer than others. The change to eligibility has been agreed to achieve a consistent triService approach so that all regular Serving personnel who have completed Phase 1 training will be eligible to apply for FHTB after 12 months service from the date of enlistment.
As a result the new change is that scheme personnel must have completed 12 months service from the date of enlistment AND completed Phase One training;
This is addition to original criteria which is that the SP must;
- be in Regular Service;
- have at least six months left to serve at the time of application;
- In the last twelve months, not have owned a property within 50 miles of the proposed house purchase.
It is important to note that any applications submitted prior to the changes in eligibility criteria will continue to be processed under those rules.
With respect to changes in the mortgage market, we are clearly in unprecedented times. As a result many physical valuations/surveys are currently on hold until the lock down ceases and a vast amount of mortgage companies have temporarily withdrawn products for applicants with less than a 20-25% deposit. They are also making changes to their criteria on a daily basis. This is largely in response to a reduced workforce and a demand on them to process Mortgage payment holiday during this current crisis. Clearly there is also a repricing of products due as well in response to the two previous base rate reductions.
This is not to say that purchases of properties are no longer happening or if you have smaller deposit you wont be able to get a mortgage, it is just that things are taking a longer and a bit like the government, the lenders are introducing calming measures to help manage the crisis situation.