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Help to Buy Scotland to launch on Monday

  • 27/09/2013
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Help to Buy Scotland to launch on Monday
The Help to Buy equity loan scheme is to launch in Scotland on Monday, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The equity loan scheme has generated more than 12,500 sales in England since its launch in April and the Scottish government was keen to launch an equivalent.

The Scottish government has allocated £220m to the three-year new build scheme, which will launch to the public on Monday 30 September.

Lenders offering Help to Buy mortgages in Scotland at launch will include Bank of Scotland, Barclays and Nationwide.

The scheme largely mirrors Help to Buy in England with borrowers contributing a 5% deposit, the government providing a loan worth up to 20% of the purchase price and the remainder being obtained from a traditional mortgage lender.

However, the Scottish scheme caps loans on new build properties at up to £400,000, unlike the English scheme which is available at up to £600,000.

“There is no doubt that getting onto, or moving up the property ladder has become tougher in recent years,” Sturgeon said.

“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.”

The scheme was developed in consultation with the Council of Mortgage Lenders and Homes for Scotland, who will also monitor the scheme’s progress after launch.

Homes for Scotland chief executive Philip Hogg described the scheme as a ‘game changer’ that would be boost the entire Scottish housing market.

“Given the immediate and significant impact the Help to Buy concept has had elsewhere in the UK, it was absolutely imperative that comparable levels of support were provided here to ensure that buyers, builders and the wider Scottish economy were not disadvantaged.

“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.”

The controversial Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme will be available across the UK when it launches in January.

Nicola Noble, head of mortgages at Bank of Scotland said: “Innovative schemes such as this will also boost the economy as increased demand for new build homes will lead house builders to increase house construction, providing new jobs in communities across the country.”

Andy Gray, mortgages managing director 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 looks forward to helping customers purchase a new-build property through this scheme.”

Ian McGrail, managing director of broker, FirstMortgage said: “The surge in employment opportunities in some of our major cities has made Scotland an increasingly attractive option for first time buyers, as our branches have reported enquiries are now at a record high.”

He added: “It is our sincere hope that the second phase of the scheme will also be introduced in the weeks ahead to ensure that those who still cannot be helped by Help to Buy 1 still have a chance of becoming a homeowner.”



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