One week left to apply for pilot First Home Fund

Friday September 25th 2020


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale MSP Christine Grahame has encouraged first-time buyers in her constituency to consider applying for the pilot First Home Fund, with one more week left to apply. The Scottish Government pilot scheme has already helped thousands across Scotland to enter the property market.

The new scheme has been particularly popular since the housing market reopened in June, and is expected to support more than 8,000 households into home ownership by the end of the financial year. Homebuyers who are completing purchases this financial year have until 6pm on 2 October to apply.

The fund, which offers first-time buyers loans of up to £25,000 for their deposit, was launched in December 2019 to pilot a new approach to supporting first-time buyers. The pilot will now be evaluated, with the results expected to be published in January. However, recognising its early success, the Scottish Government intends to reopen for applications in the new year for home purchases completing in 2021/22.

SNP MSP Ms Grahame said:

“The pilot of the First Home Fund has been a huge success, and has been especially important since property sales resumed over the summer. Indeed the Scottish Government invested a further £50 million in July to help ensure that first-time buyers could still access the market despite changes to mortgages caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

“While the scheme is almost fully subscribed for 2020-21, and please do consider applying before the deadline, I’m pleased to hear that the scheme will be re-opened for the next financial year.

“In the meantime, first-time buyers will still be able to access shared equity schemes including Help to Buy (Scotland) and LIFT (the Low-cost Initiative for First Time Buyers), and I would encourage them to consider these options.”

The First Home Fund was launched with an initial budget of £150 million. The Scottish Government invested a further £50 million in July in response to reduced availability of higher loan-to-value mortgages caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

It is open to all first-time buyers in Scotland and can be used for new build and existing properties.

Buyers are required to fund around 5% of the value of their new property from their own funds as a deposit. The Scottish Government contribution is secured on the equity of the home, is repayable in full at any time, and must be repaid if the home is sold. No monthly payments apply.

Learn more about the First Home Fund, Help to Buy (Scotland) and LIFT.

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