Housing demand

Robison urged to reopen scheme for first time buyers

Stewart Milne - housing and housebuilding

Demand for new homes is high

Housing minister Shona Robison has been urged to reopen a support scheme to help first time buyers.

Scottish Government figures show that its Help to Buy scheme supported more than 18,000 households into home ownership since it was introduced in 2013.

Whilst the initiative is still available through participating SME builders, the main scheme closed earlier this year and was quickly followed by the First Home Fund running out of money in just five working days due to overwhelming demand.

With Scottish Government evidence revealing that 82% of households aspire to own their home, Fionna Kell, director of policy at industry body Homes for Scotland, said: “The phenomenal popularity of Help to Buy and the First Home Fund illustrates their importance across a whole range of areas.

“Clearly their central social benefit has been enabling those who would otherwise be unable to move into a new home to do so, with nearly 40% of Help to Buy purchasers previously living with family or friends. 

“In addition, they have directly gone on to support tens of thousands of much-needed jobs and boosted the economy.

“As the home building and mortgage industries explore alternative routes to helping first time buyers, we urge the Scottish Government to reopen the First Home Fund to meet the demand that evidently exists, ensuring that those starting their housing journey are not locked out due to rising prices.

“We look forward to working closely with the new Cabinet Secretary for Housing Shona Robison to ensure that everyone who wants to buy a new home and can sustainably afford to do so, can do exactly that.”

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