First-time buyers in Scotland have less than one week to apply for a fund of up to £25,000 to help them get on the property market.

The Scottish Government’s First Home Fund has been “particularly popular” since the reopening of the housing market in June, with more than 8000 households thought to have been supported into home ownership.

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.

But homebuyers who are completing purchases this financial year have until 6pm on Friday, October 2, to take part in the scheme.

The pilot will now be evaluated, with the results expected to be published in January.

HeraldScotland:

However, the Scottish Government has announced it does intend to reopen applications in the new year for home purchases completing in 2021/22.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “The pilot of our First Home Fund has been a huge success, helping thousands of people own their first home.

“The fund has been especially important since property sales resumed over the summer, and we 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 pandemic.

“While the scheme is almost fully subscribed for 2020-21, I am pleased to say that I will reopen the pilot for the next financial year, and look forward to announcing further details of this in due course.

“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.”

Cameron McKenzie, who bought a two-bedroom flat in Pilton, Edinburgh, through the fund, said: “Thanks to the First Home Fund we bought our first home far earlier than we ever imagined, especially during these uncertain times! The application process was easy to understand and Link staff were very helpful.”

How does the scheme work?

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.

Eligibility

There are no restrictions on the price of property you can buy and it is open to all first-time buyers in Scotland, including single and joint purchasers. 

You will need to take out a capital repayment mortgage.

The following lenders offer mortgages for the First Home Fund:

  • Bank of Scotland
  • Barclays
  • Glasgow Credit Union
  • Halifax
  • Leeds Building Society
  • Nationwide
  • Scotwest Credit Union
  • TSB
  • Capital Credit Union
  • The Mansfield Building Society
  • Vida Homeloans

How to apply

For more information and details on how to apply, visit the Scottish Government website here.