Scottish Government to spend £195m to help home buyers get on property market
The successor to the current Help to Buy scheme from the Scottish Government has been announced, with the government to spend £195m over the next three years in a new shared equity scheme to help around 6,500 home buyers buy a new-build home. There are terms and conditions attaching such that not all first time purchasers will qualify. Equally only registered builders will come within the scheme and affordable housing is the target for the funding.
Although full details of the scheme will not be revealed until after the UK Government’s spending review in November, the aim will be to focus on affordable housing, with eligible buyers set to receive an equity loan towards the purchase price of a new-build home.
Previously, the Help to Buy scheme aimed to help those struggling to raise a deposit, with the £130m scheme closing in May after it was fully subscribed just two months after funding began.
This is a good move for the Scottish market, helping some people get their first step on the property ladder. It will be especially useful if interest rates rise: something which could make life a little more difficult for first time buyers.
It’s great as well to see support for house building in Scotland - between this new funding and the Help to Buy scheme, the house building industry will have received around half a billion pounds of support over a six-year period.
Combined, both schemes are set to help a total 14,000 people across the country secure a new-build home.
It seems like a good move from the Scottish Government to help – and comes at the same time as the government revealed it is on course to exceed its five-year target of 30,000 affordable homes by March 2016.
However, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has taken a slightly more cynical view on the subject, suggesting that it would stimulate demand but fail to address the housing supply issue.
What is your view on the Help to Buy scheme? Let us know in the comments.