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Fresh help for home buyers

Published: 21 Jan 2016 09:30
Part of:
Housing

5000 to be helped into home ownership.

More than £160 million of new funding will be targeted in 2016/17 on home ownership schemes to support 5000 households to buy their own home.

More than £80 million will go to our established Open Market Shared Equity Scheme (OMSE) helping up to 2,000 eligible first-time buyers on low to moderate incomes.

The Help to Buy (Scotland): Affordable Home Ownership scheme will help up to 3,000 households next year, backed by £80 million equity support towards the purchase price.

The three year £195 million Help to Buy scheme, which will help thousands of lower income households buy a new-build home, will open for applications on March 1.

Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said:

"I am delighted that we can help 5000 home buyers into affordable home ownership in the coming financial year, underpinned by £160 million, which is £35 million more than originally planned for this year.

"Importantly, this new funding is specifically targeted to support thousands of low income individuals and families across Scotland get on or up the housing ladder.

"Since 2007, OMSE has helped over 6,000 first time buyers who would not otherwise be able to afford to buy their first home to get a foot on the housing ladder; and this year we will help another 2000.

"Through Help to Buy, we have already helped 7,500 households buy a new build home and over the next three years our successor Help to Buy Scheme will help another 7,500 as well as boosting the home building industry, and support jobs across Scotland.

"Homes for Scotland and the Council of Mortgage Lenders expressed clear views about how Help to Buy should be improved. We have listened carefully to what they told us and worked with them to develop the scheme to support industry and buyers as much as possible.

"The funding is also good news in particular for the SME sector of the housing industry. Hundreds of small developers will benefit from people buying new affordable homes across urban and rural Scotland."

Homes for Scotland incoming Chief Executive Nicola Barclay welcomed the further support for the enormously successful scheme which has helped protect vital jobs and boosted the economy, and said:

"As recent research confirms, the majority of Scots aspire to home ownership. The reintroduction of Help to Buy will enable more people to realise their dreams as well as keep the housing market moving. Providing builders with the certainty they need to plan their investment and construction programmes is crucial if they are to deliver the homes we need."

Allan Callaghan, Managing Director of Cruden Homes West, said:

"The Help to Buy scheme helped many Cruden Homes first-time buyers take their first step on to the property ladder and today, Cruden warmly welcomes its successor which will act as a catalyst to support a new generation of Scottish homeowners for years to come.

"It's clear that the Scottish Government has listened to the construction sector and our customers and considered the significant role that the Help to Buy scheme played in supporting stability and leading to job creation and economic growth. The impact of introducing a successor to this scheme will be felt across the sector - from larger operators with significant developments to those on a smaller scale."

Notes to editors

House builders may register to apply to the Help to Buy scheme from January 21, 2016.

More information about Help to Buy, including purchasing price limits, is available at: www.gov.scot/htb

For OMSE, priority access is provided to social renters, disabled people, members of the armed forces, veterans who have left the armed forces within the past two years, and widows, widowers and other partners of service personnel for up to two years after their partner has been killed while serving in the armed forces. http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Built-Environment/Housing/BuyingSelling/lift/FTBOMSEP