Home Front logoWhilst investors braced themselves last week when the Budget 2016 changes were announced it seems the property market had little to be phased about with no major changes that we were not already aware about. I think perhaps the biggest impact was the announcement of the Lifetime ISA, the government seems to be committed to try and help first time buyers particularly young people save flexibly for the long term and ensure they do not have to choose between saving for retirement and saving for their first home. The Budget announced that from 6 April 2017 any adult under 40 will be able to open a new Lifetime ISA. They can save up to £4,000 each year and will receive a 25% bonus from the government on every pound they put in. Contributions can continue to be made with the bonus paid up to the age of 50. Funds can be used to buy a first home with the government bonus at any time from 12 months after opening the account, and can be withdrawn from the Lifetime ISA with the government bonus from age 60 for use in retirement. The government will set the limit for property purchased using Lifetime ISA funds at £450,000. This limit will apply nationally. People can continue to open a Help to Buy: ISA until November 2019, as planned. They can also choose to open a Lifetime ISA, but will only be able to use the government bonus from one of their accounts to buy their first home. During the 2017-18 tax years, those who already have a Help to Buy: ISA will be able to transfer the savings they have built up into the Lifetime ISA and still save an additional £4,000. Whilst this is a product aimed at encouraging saving for the long term, the government understands that circumstances change so wants to ensure that people can access their own money if they need it whilst also keeping an incentive to leave funds invested for the long term. The government will consider whether Lifetime ISA funds plus the government bonus can be withdrawn in full for other specific life events in addition to buying a first home. I think all in all this is excellent news for anyone struggling to get their foot on the ladder and a true incentive to get saving for that dream home.