The SNP Government is extending the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme, which has supported more than 12,000 households since its introduction in September 2013, beyond 2019, helping more people purchase a new-build home without the need for a large deposit. From April 2019, another £100 million will be invested over two years, helping another 4,000 households to purchase a new home. This follows a £313 million investment over the first three years and a further £195 million committed from 2016/17 to 2018/19. Help to Buy (Scotland) is open to first time buyers and existing homeowners, and provides up to 15% of the purchase price of a new build home. The maximum purchase price is £200,000. So far, around two thirds (66%) of Help to Buy (Scotland) households were first time buyers, whilst around a third (34%) were existing home owners. Around half (50%) of buyers were aged 30 years or under, with over three-quarters (76%) of buyers aged 35 or under. Housing Minister Kevin Stewart MSP said: “Since we introduced Help to Buy, the scheme has not only helped thousands of buyers into new homes - it has supported around 9,000 construction jobs. “A third of the annual £50 million budget – £18 million – will be reserved for sales from small and medium-sized builders, who were particularly affected by the reduction in development finance after the fiscal crisis. “We know house builders still see Scotland as a place to continue to develop and invest, with the latest figures showing new house completions grew by 5% over the last year."
Kenneth Gibson MSP added: “Housing is about more than bricks and mortar. We want to provide safe, warm homes, help create a fairer Scotland, and preserve a diverse and more resilient construction sector.
“Crucially, just as the scheme’s extension will ensure even more people can buy a home, it will also ease pressure in other parts of the housing market as people move into home ownership from socially rented homes and come off council house waiting lists.”
Nicola Barclay, Chief Executive of Homes for Scotland, which represents companies building most of the country’s private sector homes, commented: “With most Scots wanting to own their own home and the scheme proven to increase build rates, this is a very welcome announcement. It clearly demonstrates that the SNP Government supports the aspiration to home ownership and recognises the real challenge that continues to face prospective buyers in terms of the size of deposit they require to achieve this goal. “This additional funding will provide our member companies with the certainty that they need to invest in and open up new sites and expand the number of homes available to new purchasers.” ENDS