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More help for first time buyers

A scheme to help first time buyers get a foot on the property ladder has been granted additional funding.

Housing Minister Keith Brown has announced that an extra £4.65 million has been allocated to the Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) scheme to help those on low to moderate incomes into home ownership.

In the past four years the Low-Cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT) shared equity schemes, of which OMSE is part, has helped over 5,600 people buy a home.

The new funding allocation almost doubles the OMSE budget from £4.75 million to £9.4 million and means that the Scottish Government can aim to help over 250 more first time buyers in Scotland to buy their first homes under the scheme.

Through the Open Market scheme, buyers can own a home but only pay for a proportion of it – between 60 and 80 per cent of its value – with the Government funding the remainder through taking an interest-free equity stake.

The buyer does not pay any charges on the equity stake, but pays the Scottish Government a proportion of the sale price at the time of sale, or earlier if they wish.

There are limits set on the price of homes that can be bought under the open market scheme to ensure that only ‘starter’ properties are available through the scheme.