Home ownership schemes help thousands on to property ladder
More than 30,000 households have received help from the Scottish Government to assist them with buying a home since 2007, according to official figures.
Analysis suggests the majority of those who accessed help were first-time buyers or young people.
Two home ownership schemes – Help to Buy (Scotland) and the Low Cost Initiative for First-Time Buyers (LIFT) – have received investment of more than £1.2 billion from the Scottish Government, with the aim of supporting people who may not otherwise be able to access the property market.
Statistics show 32,572 households have been supported into home ownership using the schemes in just over a decade.
A total of 79% of purchasers who accessed the schemes were aged 35 or younger in 2018-19.
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “We want to make sure everyone has a safe, warm, affordable place to call home, and creating a fairer housing market will help us achieve that.
“A home is so much more than just a place to live – it awards a sense of identity, belonging and pride.”
He added: “We know how difficult it can be for many people to save for a deposit and get on to the property ladder, especially without financial support from family and friends.
“I am pleased these figures show we are supporting young first-time buyers on to the property ladder, with more than 80% of households being first-time buyers and more than 70% aged 35 and under.
“These current programmes will be joined by a Scottish Government national pilot scheme to provide support for first-time buyers by contributing to the deposit they need when buying their first home.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat housing spokeswoman Caron Lindsay said the Help to Buy scheme had enabled households on higher incomes to access it.
“People will be surprised to see households with an income of up to £100,000 accessing the SNP Government’s Help to Buy scheme,” she said.
“Households with this sort of income should be able to afford to buy a home without the Government’s help.
“If the system is imbalanced then the risk is that Help to Buy drives up prices while having little effect on supply.”
She added: “The Scottish Government needs to consider whether this is really the best use of its resources.
“We could do so much more for people on lower incomes.
“Ministers also need to reflect on the National Audit Office’s report last week, which found that the equivalent scheme in England saw big builders raking in profits and the system being used by people who didn’t necessarily need it.”