Lifetime ISA for first-time buyers
Important information - Unlike the security of cash, investments can go down as well as up in value, so you could get back less than you put in. The information on this page isn’t personal advice - please ask us for advice if you’re not sure which investments are right for you. Tax rules for Lifetime ISAs can change and their benefits depend on your circumstances. You can withdraw money from a Lifetime ISA to buy your first home, or at age 60. Other withdrawals will usually mean a 25% government charge, so you could get back less than you put in.
Saving for your first home with a Lifetime ISA
A Lifetime ISA is a flexible, affordable way to save and invest for your first home. You can open one if you’re between 18 and 39 years old and contribute up until you turn 50.
Every year you can save up to £4,000 towards your first home, and the government will add a 25% bonus to whatever you put in – worth up to £1,000 a year. As with other ISAs, money in a Lifetime ISA can grow free from UK tax, including any returns you make on your investments.
A stocks and shares Lifetime ISA is a great way to invest over the long term for a new home. However we would suggest that if you’re planning to purchase a home in less than five years, a cash Lifetime ISA could be more suitable. Being invested in the stock market for five years or more gives you a better chance of avoiding short-term stock market volatility.
Remember investments can fall as well as rise, so you could get back less than you put in. Tax rules can change and benefits depend on individual circumstances.
Using a Lifetime ISA to buy your first home
A Lifetime ISA is a great way to save for your first home, but there are some things to consider.
- You need to be a first-time buyer (this means you don’t own, and haven’t owned, a residential property anywhere in the world)
- It must have been at least 12 months since the first payment into the Lifetime ISA before you can use the money to buy a home without facing a withdrawal penalty
- If you have a Help to Buy ISA, you can only use one government bonus towards your purchase, so be careful choosing which account you use
- If you’re buying with someone else who is also a first-time buyer, they can use their own Lifetime ISA and their government bonus too
If you’ve had your Lifetime ISA open for at least 12 months, you can then use the money you’ve saved towards your first home. If you want to use it before having the account open for a year or need the money for something that isn’t a first home and you’re younger than age 60, then you may have to pay a 25% withdrawal charge.
About your first home
- The property must be in the UK
- The purchase price must be £450,000 or less and the amount withdrawn must be less than the purchase price
- It will need to be your main home or become your main home as soon as it’s ready if it’s still being built
- You’ll need to be buying the house with a mortgage or regulated home purchase plan
If you don’t meet the conditions for an eligible property purchase, you can still use your Lifetime ISA money towards buying a property. But you’d have to pay the government withdrawal charge, which means you could get back less than you put in. You could instead use it for later life. If you’re not using your Lifetime ISA to purchase your first property, you can usually access the money from age 60.
Steps to buying your first home with a Lifetime ISA
Here are some of the steps you can expect when buying your home with a Lifetime ISA.
Find out how much you can borrow
Speak to a professional to find out how much you can borrow and see how much you need to save with your Lifetime ISA.
Find your best mortgage offer
Shop around to find your best mortgage offer – it might not always be with your bank, so make sure you do your research.
Access the money in your Lifetime ISA
To use your HL Lifetime ISA to purchase your first home you’ll need to send us the Lifetime ISA home purchase form, telling us about your conveyancer and how much you want to withdraw.
We’ll keep your Lifetime ISA funds safe until then. Once you’ve requested the withdrawal, we’ll speak to your conveyancer handling your purchase and once everything is ready, then transfer the funds that you instruct us to directly to them.
What are the benefits of a Lifetime ISA with HL?
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HL is a secure FTSE 100 company, regulated by the FCA.
- Automatic bonus - we’ll claim your government bonus and add it to your account automatically
Wide investment choice and expert research
Choose from thousands of investments and our latest funds ideas. You can even get expert guidance to help you decide where to invest and build your own portfolio, or ask for personal advice if you need it.
Easy and simple to manage
Check your Lifetime ISA on the go, online or with the HL app.
HL have won over 200 awards including Best Buy Lifetime ISA 2023 from the Boring Money Awards.
Free to set up, and a maximum annual fee of 0.25%
No charge to buy or sell funds, or to stop and start payments. Funds also have their own annual charge and dealing fees for shares are capped. View full charges.
Ready to start saving for your first home?
Open a Lifetime ISA
If you’ve decided to save into a Lifetime ISA to help get your first step on the housing ladder, and you’re happy with the terms and conditions and key features of this product, all you need to do is fill out this form.
Transfer an existing ISA to a Lifetime ISA
If you already have an existing ISA and would like to transfer to a Lifetime ISA with HL, find out more here on how you can do so.
Learn more about using a Lifetime ISA for your first home
What happens to my Lifetime ISA if something goes wrong with the property purchase?
Buying a house can be a complex process and unfortunately things can fall through. If the purchase isn’t complete within 90 days your conveyancer can request an extension of 60 days, and then a second and final extension of an extra 30 days. The total window for completion, with extensions, is 180 days. To request an extension your conveyancer will need to let us know and we’ll contact HMRC. If the purchase falls through your conveyancer must return the money to HL to be put back into your Lifetime ISA within 10 working days. Any money that isn’t returned will be subject to a 25% government withdrawal charge which you will need to pay to HMRC.
- Can I build my own house and still use a Lifetime ISA?
You can use the Lifetime ISA to buy land for a self-build property, providing you meet all the other criteria for purchasing a property with your Lifetime ISA.
- Can you use two Lifetime ISAs to buy a house?
You can use your Lifetime ISA savings to buy your first home with someone else, regardless of whether they have their own Lifetime ISA. If you both have Lifetime ISAs, and are both first-time buyers, you can both use them towards your home together.
- Can a Lifetime ISA be used if one of us is a first-time home buyer and one isn't?
If you are buying a home with someone who has owned a property before they do not count as a first-time buyer.
But you are still entitled to use your own bonus towards the price of the home you are buying together.
How long should I allow when withdrawing money from a Lifetime ISA to purchase a first home?
We’d usually recommend allowing 30 days from when you initially contact us to the completion of the Lifetime ISA withdrawal. We are aware that you may have a completion date for your first home purchase, so we will try to ensure the cash is with your solicitor by your deadline where we can.
What is the Lifetime ISA house price limit?
The purchase price must be £450,000 or less and the amount withdrawn must be less than the purchase price.
Can a Lifetime ISA be used for a house deposit?
Yes, the funds in your Lifetime ISA, including the bonus, can be used towards a deposit on your first home, provided that the purchase price of the property is under £450,000 and is completed within 90 days of your conveyancer receiving the funds from your Lifetime ISA account.
Lifetime ISA Essentials
How many ISAs can I have?
Across the course of their life, someone could end up owning many ISAs. How many could they have?
What are the different types of ISA?
Decide how to make the most of your ISA allowance by learning more about the different types of ISAs available.
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BEST BUY LIFETIME ISA 2023
Boring Money Best Buys Awards
BEST ONLINE STOCKBROKER 2022/2023
The Personal Finance Awards
GOLD AWARD FOR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE 2022
Times Money Mentor