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Deposit unlock scheme

Could the deposit unlock scheme help you buy a home? Learn all about it works in our article below.

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Pile of coins with a house beside them, representing saving up to buy a home

What is the deposit unlock scheme?

The deposit unlock scheme is the first UK home ownership scheme of its type, as it was devised without any government involvement.

Created via a collaboration between The Home Builders Federation (HBF), Gallagher Reinsurers and a handful of mortgage lenders, it enables both first-time buyers and home movers to purchase new-build homes with just 5% deposit.

With the government’s Help to Buy scheme now closed to applicants in England and no direct replacements for the scheme planned outside of Wales, this scheme intends to replace some of the benefits for those looking to buy a new-build property. 

First-time buyer mortgages

Learn about getting a mortgage as a first-time buyer and how to find the right deal for you

How does the deposit unlock scheme work?

Outside of the help to buy scheme, those looking to buy a new build home typically require around a 15% deposit in order to qualify for a mortgage. This is due to the ‘new build premium’, which refers to the higher cost of buying a brand new home, compared to a quicker than average decline in value, due to not being brand new when it is sold on. 

The scheme allows buyers to select one of the homes assigned to the deposit unlock scheme by one of the 50 participating housebuilders across the UK with a 95% mortgage from one of the associated lenders.

It can be used to purchase both houses and flats with two bedrooms or more up to the value of £833,250, depending on your personal circumstances and ability to qualify for the relevant sized mortgage.

How to qualify for the deposit unlock scheme 

  • You can be a first-time buyer or buying a new home, but the scheme can only be used for your main and only home

  • You will need to meet all of the qualifying criteria for at least one of the participating lenders

  • You will not be able to borrow more than £750,000

  • You cannot own any second homes or buy-to-let properties on completion of the sale

  • You cannot buy any properties outside of those specifically assigned to the scheme

Home builders participating in the scheme

  • Anderson Design & Build

  • Anderson O&U

  • Ashberry Homes

  • Baker Estates

  • Barratt Homes

  • Barratt London

  • Bellway Homes

  • Bellway London

  • Bewley

  • Bloor Homes

  • Bovis Homes

  • Braidwater Limited

  • CALA Homes Limited

  • City & Country Homes

  • Countryside Properties

  • Crest Nicholson

  • Croudace Homes

  • Davidson Group

  • David Wilson Homes

  • Devine Homes

  • Edenstone Holdings

  • Edwards Homes

  • Fairview

  • Gleeson Build & Develop Limited

  • Hayfield Homes

  • Hill

  • Ilke Homes

  • Keepmoat Homes

  • Linden Homes

  • Mandale Homes

  • MCI

  • Miller Homes

  • MJ Gleeson PLC

  • Morris Homes

  • Morrish Homes

  • Nicholas King Homes

  • Norfolk Homes

  • Pat Munro Homes

  • Persimmon

  • Prospect Homes

  • Redrow

  • St Modwen Homes

  • Stonebond Group

  • Stonebridge Homes

  • Taylor Wimpey

  • Thakeham

  • Thomas Homes

  • Vistry Group

  • Weston Homes PLC

  • Wheeldon Brothers

Mortgage providers offering the scheme

  • Accord Mortgages

  • Nationwide Building Society

  • Newcastle Building Society

It is also expected that additional lenders will join the scheme in the coming months

Each of the three existing lenders at the time of writing offer some form of incentive as part of their deposit unlock products, such as free valuations or cashback, but offers are subject to change. 

All deals are available exclusively via a mortgage broker, so you will not be able to go to any of the participating lenders directly for a deposit unlock mortgage. 

Should you use the deposit unlock scheme?

Like any mortgage or home ownership scheme, whether or not they are the most suited to your needs will depend on your individual circumstances and exactly what you’re looking for. There are also both benefits and drawbacks, which will need to be considered alongside your goals and finances, before you make a decision:

  • You can buy a brand new house or flat with two or more bedrooms with just 5% deposit

  • You don’t need to be a first-time buyer (unlike the majority of home ownership schemes)

  • Regional price cap restrictions do not apply

  • There is no income limit for borrowers

  • New build properties use less energy than older homes, meaning lower utility bills

  • You can only choose scheme properties, which may not be in your preferred areas

  • There are currently only three lenders able to offer this type of mortgage, which limits your opportunity to qualify for a loan and may receive less competitive rates

  • New build homes lose value more quickly than pre-owned home, as you will pay a premium for it being brand new, which will no longer apply when you sell it

Deposit unlock scheme FAQs

What are the disadvantages of the deposit unlock scheme?

The disadvantages will really depend on your preferences. If your main goal is to own a brand new property, the fact that it may not be in your first choice of area and will lose value quickly won’t be too much of an issue, especially if you plan to stay there for a long time. 

Equally, if you don’t have any concerns about being accepted for a mortgage, then the fact that only three lenders are currently offering them should not be too much of a deterrent. If you have bad credit, or feel that you may struggle to qualify for a mortgage, it could be more of a concern. That said, more lenders are expected to join the scheme in time.

Can existing homeowners use the deposit unlock scheme?

Yes, unlike the majority of home ownership schemes, the deposit unlock scheme is not limited to first-time buyers, or to those on a limited income. However, you must be purchasing your main and only property.

How is affordability calculated?

Affordability will be calculated the same way as it would for any other type of mortgage, although each lender has its own specific method. Typically you’re able to borrow around 4.5 times your annual household income.

Our mortgage affordability calculator will help you to figure out how much you may be able to borrow using your income details and current deposit figure.


The FCA does not regulate mortgages on commercial or investment buy-to-let properties.

Uswitch makes introductions to Mojo Mortgages to provide mortgage solutions. Uswitch and Mojo Mortgages are part of the same group of companies. Uswitch Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under firm reference number 312850. You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting the FCA website. Uswitch Limited is registered in England and Wales (Company No 03612689) The Cooperage, 5 Copper Row, London SE1 2LH. Mojo Mortgages is a trading style of Life's Great Limited which is registered in England and Wales (06246376). Mojo are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and are on the Financial Services Register (478215) Mojo’s registered office is The Cooperage, 5 Copper Row, London, SE1 2LH, and head office is WeWork No. 1 Spinningfields, Quay Street, Manchester, M3 3JE. To contact Mojo by phone, please call 0333 123 0012.