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Report shows number of sales falling

Home-buyers ‘left in limbo’ after end of Help to Buy

BarrattHome builders have expressed concern at a new report showing a continuing fall in the number of first time buyers in Scotland and warned that the country faces being left in “housing limbo” following the early closure of the hugely successful Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme.

The Scottish government announced earlier this month that the fund had been fully allocated and gave no indication of an extension.

Homes for Scotland, the industry body, says it helped those looking to buy new homes up to £250,000 overcome the difficulties associated with large deposits.

The Council of Mortgage Lender has now produced figures for the first quarter of 2015 highlighting the a 23% fall in purchases by first time buyers compared to the last quarter of 2014 and a 7% fall on the same period a year ago.

 Karen Campbell, director of policy at Homes for Scotland, said: “With first Time buyers the lifeblood of our industry, the figures represent disappointing reading indeed.

“They underscore the need for continuing Scottish Government support. They also emphasise the significant disadvantage that buyers and builders in Scotland now face compared to elsewhere in Britain with both England and Wales extending their schemes to not only meet the obvious demand that exists but also facilitate the building of much needed new homes with all the wide-ranging social, economic and environmental benefits this brings.

“It is therefore imperative that the Scottish Government gives a clear and early signal of its intentions on the matter if Scotland is to avoid being left in housing limbo.”

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