Fresh help for house buyers

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People across Scotland are to be helped on to the housing ladder with a £20 million funding boost announced today by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Over 500 people on low to moderate incomes will receive help to buy their first home through Scottish Government funding for shared equity schemes next year. 

Priority access will be given to particular groups, including members of the armed forces, veterans and disabled people.  Buyers who successfully apply to use shared equity can purchase a home by paying a majority share in it, with the Scottish Government paying the outstanding under an agreement which it enters into with the buyer.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“People in Scotland who should rightly be able to afford a mortgage are still facing real challenges buying a home.

“Over the past four years, our Low Cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT) shared equity schemes have helped a huge number of people to buy their first home. 

“We want to continue to do all we can to help.  This £20 million boost is great news for individuals and families.  Our schemes will not only help people to buy their first home, they will also help ‘second-steppers’ to be able to sell their home and to move to another property. 
 
“But this is not only about helping people to buy houses. Our actions are also stimulating the economy.  By supporting house buying and construction, we are creating new work for the sector and supporting jobs.  

“This demonstrates that in these tough financial times the Scottish Government will step in, both to help households and crucial sectors of our economy like house building.”

Shared equity is a way to buy a home without having to fund all of it. When an individual buys a shared equity home from a housing association or on the open market they pay for the majority share in it and the Scottish Government pays the rest under an agreement which it enters into with the buyer.

The Scottish Government’s Low-cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT) brings together several ways to help households access home ownership. These include:

  • The New Supply Shared Equity scheme to allow first time buyers to buy a new build property either from a housing association or a private developer.
  • The New Supply Shared Equity with Developers scheme which allows first time buyers to buy a new build property from a developer.
  • The Open Market Shared Equity scheme which allows first time buyers to buy a property on the open market.