The Help to Buy (HTB) scheme is designed to stimulate the supply of new houses in the housing market and to assist first time buyers in accumulating a deposit for a new home. In order to help further meet these goals, I announced an enhancement to the existing scheme with effect from 23 July 2020 for the remainder of that year as part of the July Stimulus Package. The legislation to give effect to this is set out in the Financial Provisions (Covid-19) (No.2) Act 2020. Finance Act 2020 further extended the period of application of the enhanced levels of support until 31 December 2021.
In relation to second-hand properties generally, an increase in the supply of new housing remains a priority aim of Government policy. As mentioned above, the HTB scheme is specifically designed to encourage an increase in demand for affordable new build homes in order to encourage the construction of an additional supply of such properties. A move to include second-hand properties within the scope of the relief would not improve the effectiveness of the relief; on the contrary, it could serve to dilute the incentive effect of the measure in terms of encouraging additional supply. I have no plans to extend HTB to second-hand properties.