£100m to extend Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme

The Scottish government said the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme will be extended beyond 2019 to help more people buy a new-build home without the need for a large deposit.

From April 2019, a further £100 million will be invested over two years, helping up to 4,000 households buy a new home.

Since 2013, the scheme has supported more than 12,000 households into a new home.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart 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 jobs.

“A third of the annual £50 million budget – £18 million – will be reserved for sales from SME builders, who were particularly affected by the drop in development finance after the financial 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.

“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.”

Nicola Barclay, chief executive of Homes for Scotland, which represents companies building the majority of the country’s homes, said: “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 Scottish Government supports the aspiration of 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.

“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.”

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.

Around 66% of Help to Buy (Scotland) households have been first time buyers, with around 34% existing home owners.

Around 76% of buyers have been aged 35 or under.

Help to Buy (Scotland) was launched on September 30, 2013.

About £313 million was invested during the first three years (2013/14 – 2015/16) of the scheme.

A further £195 million was committed from 2016/17 – 2018/19.