What has changed?
Sadly, this helpful saving scheme is no longer with us, it was discontinued on 30 November 2019. Here is what the official line is for those who opened an account before that fateful day:
The Help to Buy ISA closed to new accounts at midnight on 30 November 2019. If you have already opened a Help to Buy ISA (or did so before 30 November 2019), you will be able to continue saving into your account until November 2029.Source: https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/help-to-buy-isa/how-does-it-work/
Is there any alternative?
Yes, there is. The Lifetime ISA (LISA) offers similar benefits, although is has different eligibility criteria, different saving criteria and if you don’t use it for your first home or a pension, you pay a penalty if you withdraw the cash. The book contains lots of comparisons between HTB ISA and LISA, and these still hold.
The LISA is still only hovering around at the fringes of the banking system, but you can get it – see the links below for more information.
- Government site for discontinued HTB ISA: https://www.gov.uk/affordable-home-ownership-schemes/help-to-buy-isa
- Help to Buy site for discontinued HTB ISA: https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/help-to-buy-isa/how-does-it-work/
- Comparison between HTB ISA and LISA: https://blog.moneysavingexpert.com/2016/04/the-help-to-buy-isa-v-lifetime-isa-which-should-first-time-buyers-get/
- Government site for LISA: https://www.gov.uk/lifetime-isa
- Info about LISA and current providers: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/savings/lifetime-isas/