Help to Buy Scotland re-launches today

Posted 1 March 2016 by Keith Osborne

The Scottish government is now funding a re-vamp of its much-loved Help to Buy Scotland scheme for buyers of new homes for a three-year period from today...

Today sees the re-launch of the Help to Buy Scotland scheme, funded by the Scottish government and following the same form of assistance to buyers of new homes as the Help to Buy schemes already operating in England and Wales.

As with the other countries’ schemes there are a few criteria for buyers to consider before applying for the scheme:

  • It is open for first-time buyers and home movers.
  • The scheme only applies to new build property.
  • The property must be being bought as a main residence (ie not a buy-to-let home)
  • The property must have a maximum value of £230,000 for purchases from 1 March 2016 to 31 March 2017, with this maximum threshold then reducing to £200,000 until 31 March 2018 then £175,000 until the 31 March 2019.
  • The Scottish government will provide an interest-free equity loan of 15% of the value of the home.
  • The property must be available through housebuilders registered for the scheme.
  • Buyers will undergo a financial test to assess whether they can afford to pay the mortgage on their property, as they would with any other mortgage. Generally, the maximum loan will be 4.5x income for a single buyer or 3.5x joint income for a couple buying together.
  • The mortgage must be a repayment mortgage from an approved lender.

More on Help to Buy Scotland

The property industry has welcomed the re-introduction of this scheme. Nicola Barclay, chief executive of trade body Homes for Scotland, says: “The next phase of the Scottish government’s hugely successful Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme has a crucial role to play by acting as a further driver for growth, helping to bridge the deposit gap and increase the supply of vital homes and jobs.”

Linda Docherty, chair for Scotland for the Council of Mortgage Lenders, adds: “The sustained year-on-year growth in house purchase lending seen since 2012 continued in Scotland this quarter. This meant more first-time buyers and home movers in 2015 took out a loan to purchase a home than in any year since 2008. With an economic climate of low interest rates and competitive mortgage deals, we would expect this growth in the Scottish market to continue into 2016.”

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