The Herald - The Herald Magazine
THE VOICE OF PROPERTY
FOR many aspiring homeowners the Scottish Government’s £60m First Home Fund was seen as a helping hand onto the property ladder following in the footsteps of the hugely successful Help to Buy scheme. So, news this week that the First Home Fund had been closed to applications just five days after its reopening brought a shocked response from industry body Homes for Scotland, which had anticipated huge demand for applications given the success of the pilot scheme run last year. Yet despite this, the Scottish Government allocated just 30 per cent of the levels spent in 2020, citing budget cuts from Westminster for the reduction.
Where does this leave disappointed first-time buyers in a booming property market where many house prices are at their highest level for years? According to Maria Campagna, business development manager with Glasgow-based Lighthouse Mortgage & Protection Solutions, there are still some great options available to give first time buyers a much needed helping hand.
“The LIFT Scheme, also known as the Low-Cost Initiative for First Time Buyers, is a Scottish open market shared equity scheme which helps buyers on a low to moderate income purchase a home by providing eligible applicants with funding (10-40 per cent) to put towards the purchase price of a new home, with up to 5% deposit coming from the applicant,” she explains. “In addition, lenders are re-introducing 95 per cent mortgages to enable First Time buyers to purchase with 5% deposit of their own. Gifted deposits are also popular, whereby parents or a family member can gift a minimum 5 per cent deposit to enable a purchase.” She adds: “Other options include Family Springboard Products.”
THE site of a historic wire mill in Musselburgh – which in its heyday played a vital role in the Second World War effort producing materials and equipment for the aero industry – is in the process of being developed into 140 contemporary riverside apartments in a partnership between Dundas Estates and Rettie & Co.
The two independent firms are collaborating for the first time on the construction and marketing of the £35m Wireworks development, which will also include 11 affordable homes in addition to the one, two and three-bedroomed apartments. Private gardens and balconies will be available in selected plots, while electric vehicle charging facilities, car parking spaces and both internal and external bicycle stores will be provided throughout.