Scots housebuilders want parity with English counterparts

Fionna Kell

SCOTLAND’S housebuilding sector has welcomed the publication of new figures, which reveal the Scottish Government’s Help to Buy scheme has assisted more than 7,000 households to purchase a new build home with just a 5% deposit over the last three years.

The number of first time buyers using the scheme has increased to over 80%, while the number of purchasers who had previously been living with parents or relatives has risen to 45%.

However, trade body Homes for Scotland has highlighted the ‘potential for disparity’ with the rest of the UK, with the scheme currently due to end north of the border in 2021.

Fionna Kell, director of policy at trade body Homes for Scotland said, “Today’s figures clearly demonstrate the demand that exists for Help to Buy and the important role it has to play in enabling those younger Scots who wish to, to get on the housing ladder and live independently as homeowners.

“The value that Help to Buy provides, not only as a proven policy driver for increasing housing delivery but also across a wide range of other areas (such as increasing opportunity, supporting jobs and developing skills) is clear but the scheme in Scotland is currently set to end in 2021.

“Whilst we keenly await details about the new pilot scheme to help first time buyers with deposits which the Scottish Government announced in April, and stand willing to help shape the scheme to ensure it is fit for purpose, it is important that neither buyers nor builders be placed at a disadvantage to their counterparts south of the border where Help to Buy there has already been extended to 2023.

“In order to ensure that more Scots have the opportunity to achieve their aspiration of home ownership, time is of the essence if builders are to have the confidence and certainty required to plan their development and investment decisions accordingly.”