Scottish Government extends help to buy scheme

Kevin Stewart

THE Scottish Government has announced that it is to extend its help to buy (Scotland) scheme by a year until March 2022.

The move will be supported by £55 million in funding, with the government adding that the extension will look to aid the economic recovery of housebuilders.

The help to buy scheme is a shared equity initiative which aims to help people buy new build homes without the need for such a large deposit – with only a minimum deposit of 5% required.

Housing minister Kevin Stewart said, “A strong and growing house-building industry is vital to Scotland’s future economic prosperity – and particularly as we plan our strategic economic recovery from Covid-19. This extension will provide us with the opportunity to reassess future priorities for the market, taking account of economic conditions following the pandemic, as well as providing a helping hand to those seeking to buy their own home.

“Since 2013, the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme has supported people with the purchase of over 17,000 new build homes and in particular supported young people aged 35 and under. Extending this scheme will help more people to buy a new-build property, particularly those who have suffered lower levels of income and have used up savings due to the impact of Covid-19 in recent months.”

Nicola Barclay, chief executive of Homes for Scotland, described the extension as delivering a ‘much required confidence booster for the housing market’ and help people with aspirations of owning their own home.

She said, “The first minister paid tribute to the very responsible approach that has been adopted by the industry during the lockdown, and this is a sentiment I wish to echo loudly.  Home builders have stepped up to the plate supporting their customers, employees and local communities, and this will continue as we look forward to working closely with government and other stakeholders to rebuild Scotland’s economy.”