The help-to-buy ISA was launched in 2015. It’s a government incentive scheme for anyone, alone or with others, saving to buy their first home. It offers a cash incentive equal to 25% of money you pay into the ISA. The incentive (which is a maximum of £3,000) is only allowed where the ISA savings are used to go towards the purchase of your first home. The help-to-buy ISA is closing to new investors on 30 November 2019 but if you already have one you can continue to save into it and receive the incentive.


If you miss the 30 November deadline you can instead open a lifetime ISA (LISA), which offers you the same 25% incentive (but up to a maximum of £4,000). The terms and conditions are slightly more involved but also include the option to use your savings towards the cost of your first home (see The next step). You can transfer your help-to-buy ISA into a LISA but you can’t have both types of account at the same time.

The next step:

HMRC’s guidance: Lifetime ISA

HMRC’s guidance: Affordable home ownership schemes