Revamp announced for housing shared equity scheme

A SCHEME that sees certain groups of people permitted to share with the Scottish Government the cost of buying their own home has announced it is raising the maximum prices of eligible properties.

The ‘Open Market Shared Equity Scheme’ sees the Scottish Government take a stake in properties being bought by first-time buyers and also ‘priority groups’, including Armed Forces personnel and people living in ‘social rent’ housing.

Says the Scottish Government, here: “From today, the threshold of the Open Market Shared Equity Scheme – which allows people to buy a home without having to fund its entire cost – has been raised by nine per cent across the country to reflect rising house prices. The scheme is aimed at priority groups who need support to buy their own home.”

It means that, for instance, a first-time buyer in Edinburgh can apply for government assistance on a three-apartment property upto a price of £180,000. Of course, when it comes to the property being sold, the government collects its share of the sale price.

The announcement adds that thresholds are set at the lowest 25 per cent of house prices in urban areas and the lowest 50 per cent of house prices in rural areas and that a further review of the thesholds will take place in December.

The Scottish Government’s explanation of the scheme talks of thresholds as they apply to the number of ‘apartments’ – here – as opposed to the number of bedrooms, which is how many property portals identify their entries.

There is no explanation, however, of why any thresholds require to be applied at all, nor what budget has been set aside to run the scheme.

Pictured: Former Commonwealth Games Village, Glasgow, Picture credit: Place Design Scotland