Game changing scheme

Game changing scheme

Homes for Scotland has expressed frustration that the Scottish Government’s hugely successful Help to Buy (Scotland) shared equity scheme for larger home builders has almost exhausted the budget.

The organisation’s reaction came after the Scottish Government published figures demonstrating that demand for the scheme has already resulted in 5,000 sales worth £1bn.

Homes for Scotland chief executive Philip Hogg said: “The Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme has been a real game-changer for our industry, stimulating the construction of much needed
new housing following the 40% plus drop in building witnessed since the downturn and
creating vital jobs.

However, it has been clear for many months that the budget was insufficient to meet demand. With no details or firm commitment on any future support forthcoming, buyers and builders here are now at significant disadvantage to those South of the Border and face months of uncertainty whilst the Scottish Government decides whether or not to launch a successor scheme.”

He called on the Scottish Government to follow the lead of the Welsh Government which has pledged to extend its Help to Buy scheme without committing a budget.

The new chairman of Homes for Scotland, Jim Mather, a former Scottish Minister, called on the Government to ‘evolve’ its shared equity scheme in order to maintain the positive progress that has been made in supporting buyers.

Mr Mather urged the Government to announce details of what new support will be in place after the planned end of Help to Buy (Scotland) in March next year so that both buyers and builders have the confidence and predictability necessary on which to base their purchasing and investment decision-making.