THOUSANDS of Scottish families struggling to get on the housing ladder could be helped by a “game-changing” £220 million scheme unveiled by Nicola Sturgeon today.
The shared equity scheme is also aimed at reviving Scotland’s ailing housebuilding industry after the amount of new homes recently slumped to their lowest figure on record.
A similar scheme in England has generated over 12,500 sales since its introduction in April and the SNP hopes the Help to Buy (Scotland) initiative will have a similar impact.
Ms Sturgeon said today: “House buyers are being hampered by the lack of affordable mortgages, with high deposits often a major barrier.
“The Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme will not only help people to buy their first home, it will also help ‘second-steppers’ and others move to a new property.
“The scheme will also help support the housing industry alongside our commitment to investment in affordable housing across Scotland.”
It will cover up to 20% of the purchase price of a new build home for new buyers who will have to fund the remaining 80% themselves, up to the value of £400,000.
The scheme gets underway on Monday and is open to all first time buyers and existing homeowners buying a new build home.
The home must be a buyer’s only residence and they must not own another home.
The scheme is backed by the Council of Mortgage Lenders and house building industry body, Homes for Scotland, who have worked closely with the Scottish Government to develop a scheme suitable for Scotland.
Philip Hogg, Chief Executive of trade body Homes for Scotland said:
“Increasing the range of options available to purchasers, we believe Help to Buy (Scotland) could be a game changing initiative, acting as the required catalyst to help reverse the downward trend we have witnessed in home building over the last five years.”
Andy Gray, Managing Director of Mortgages at Barclays said:
“We are happy to announce that Barclays is joining the Help to Buy (Scotland) equity loan scheme. This is good news for Scottish borrowers who are looking to buy their first home or move up the housing ladder.
“Barclays is very happy to be supporting the Scottish housing market and look forward to helping customers purchase a new-build property through this scheme”
Tracie Pearce, head of group mortgages at Nationwide, said:
“We are accepting Help to Buy applications as we are keen to support the Scottish Government’s efforts in helping the mortgage market to move forward.”