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£150m pilot launched to give Scotland's first-time buyers loans

First-time buyers are to be offered loans of up to £25,000 to help those trying to get on the property ladder to pay the deposits on their first property, Nicola Sturgeon announced at the SNP conference this month.

These loans will be available to those who can fund a minimum of five per cent of the value of a new home. The Scottish government confirmed these loans will be secured on the equity of the house and will be repaid when the home is sold, meaning no monthly payments are required on top of a mortgage.

There will be no age restriction for applications and no limit on the types of properties which are eligible. The scheme will be open to couples, even if one partner is not a first-time buyer.

The £150 million pilot scheme will open later in the year and will run until the end of parliament in 2021.

Ms Sturgeon concluded:

“Some first-time buyers trying to get onto the property ladder can call on the financial help of relatives or friends – the famous Bank of Mum and Dad. But for those who can’t, the average age of a first-time buyer is now 35.

“The simple truth is that for many young people, even on decent incomes, saving for a deposit takes so long it has become a distant dream.”

Addressing the growth in Scotland’s short-term lets

The scheme was part of a handful of measures put forward to make the property market in Scotland fairer. The Scottish government also announced plans to tackle the significant growth of short-term lets – such as Airbnb – in a bid to protect its housing stock. The consultation has now been launched, asking the public to consider what powers local authorities should be given to help regulate and cap the properties – such as licensing of short-term lets – and how best to ensure local communities are protected.

The consultation, which closes on the 19th July 2019, can be accessed here.

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