The Help to Buy shared equity scheme in Scotland has helped more than 10,000 households purchase a new home.
Scottish Government figures show the scheme, which helps buyers purchase a property with only a 5% deposit, was used in 2,370 sales in 2016/17. The average Scottish Government equity stake was £27,000, while the average purchase price of a house bought through the scheme was £179,000. In 2016/17, the programme used a total of £64m Scottish Government funding.
The latest figures take the total number of transactions since the introduction of Help to Buy (Scotland) in 2013 to 10,010. The scheme will run until 2018/19.
£1bn boost to economy
Trade body Homes for Scotland said, to date, the programme had contributed £1bn in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the economy. It has also helped relieve the pressure on the public sector, with 5% of buyers moving from social rented housing and 5% having been on the social housing waiting list. Around 50% of purchases under the scheme in Scotland were made by people under the age of 30.
Lenders are facilitating the shared equity scheme by offering mortgage products across fixed and variable deals. Out of 491 Help to Buy Shared Equity options available in the UK, 337 include Scotland as a lending area and 48 deals are specifically for Scotland only, according to Moneyfacts.
Nicola Barclay, chief executive of Homes for Scotland, said: “The fact that more than 10,000 households have benefited from Help to Buy is a clear demonstration of both the scheme’s success and the aspiration of Scots to own their own home. With current housing completions still 36% down on pre-recession levels, Help to Buy (Scotland) has been absolutely crucial in providing confidence and certainty for customers as well as builders in terms of planning and investment decisions.”
Kevin Stewart MSP, housing and local government minister, said: “This has helped boost the economy and it’s great to see that we’ve managed to help younger people, to support so many first time buyers and enable people to move from social housing and from waiting lists into sustainable home ownership.”
Help to Buy in England
A similar Help to Buy equity loan scheme in England saw 120,864 properties sold between April 2013 and March 2017, according to Department for Communities and Local Government Statistics.
Treasury figures, released in June for the sister Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme, show more interest among Scottish buyers than in the rest of the UK. Around 14% of mortgage completions under the scheme took place in Scotland, whereas Scotland makes up only 10% of UK mortgage completions overall.