Ministers are drawing up plans to extend the Help to Buy scheme beyond its December deadline.

The intervention is seen as vital to stop buyers losing out due to Covid-19 delays.

The Homebuyers Federation, an industry body, believes that 18,000 transactions have been affected by the 31 December stop date.

The scheme accounts for a large proportion of sales by housebuilders, and has helped more than 272,000 households buy a home since it was set up seven years ago.