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18/12/19 10:05

Help to buy a home

Thousands of first-time buyers assisted.

Applications are open for a new national pilot scheme helping first-time buyers with the deposit for a new home.

The Scottish Government’s First Home Fund will make the housing market fairer by providing a total of £150 million until March 2021 to help at least 6,000 people to buy their first home.

Existing home ownership schemes have helped more than 32,000 households in Scotland buy their own home since 2007, particularly those aged under 35.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“For many people, getting a deposit together is often an obstacle in buying their first home. Removing barriers and supporting people to buy the home they want is at the heart of this new fund. That is why we are acting to make the process fairer, to offer a helping hand to those buying a new home.

“The First Home Fund will provide first-time buyers with up to £25,000 towards the cost of buying a home that meets their needs and is located in the area where they want to live.

“Since 2007, the Scottish Government has provided more than £1.2 billion in shared equity schemes, which have helped tens of thousands of people into home ownership, particularly those aged under 35 and this new scheme adds to the support we are providing.”

Louisa Harper, from Edinburgh, who bought a new flat through the Help to Buy scheme, said:

“I purchased my property via the Help to Buy scheme in 2018. The scheme enabled me to get on the property ladder a lot earlier as I only needed to save a 5% deposit. Before purchasing my flat I was caught in a vicious cycle paying expensive rent prices that meant I had little income left over to save.

“Alongside this, the properties I rented often only offered short term leases which meant my son and I moved around a lot. When I purchased my property I had not long graduated from university so was still in the early stages of shaping my career.

“Without Help to Buy, I would not be where I am now and it has enabled me to become a home owner at the age of 24 whilst allowing me to create a safe, loving and consistent home for my son.”

Shadrech Chipwatali, from Livingston, a former member of the armed forces who bought through the existing Open Market Shared Equity Scheme, said:

"This scheme gave us an option to get a house of our own when we least expected it and the process is very simple, quick and straightforward. As a member of the armed forces, it was especially ideal as the Low-cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT) scheme gave me an option to buy a house from an area of my choice. This meant my transition from army life to civilian was already sorted.”

Nicola Barclay, Chief Executive of industry body Homes for Scotland, said:

“Home ownership remains the preferred choice of tenure for the majority of Scots. Though they can sustainably manage monthly mortgage payments, getting the deposit together remains a challenge for many. Initiatives such as this and Help to Buy are crucial, not only in helping people achieve their housing aspirations but also in helping to relieve pressures on the social and private rented sectors.”

Background

The First Home Fund will run from 18 December 2019 until March 2021