Information

Supporting home ownership this new year

First-time buyers and others on low to medium incomes are being encouraged to take advantage of the Open Market Shared Equity Scheme to help buy a home in 2023.

The scheme allows people to buy a home without having to fund its entire cost and is available across Scotland to these people who face particular barriers to the housing market:

  • people aged 60 and over
  • first time buyers
  • social renters (people who rent from the council or a housing association)
  • disabled people
  • members of the armed forces
  • veterans who have left the armed forces within the past two years
  • widows, widowers and other bereaved partners of service personnel for up to two years after their partner has lost their life while serving

Housing Secretary Shona Robison said:

“We recognise the challenges people are facing in this cost of living crisis and we want to help as many people as possible to buy an affordable home this new year.

“This scheme puts applicants on a more level playing field with other buyers when purchasing an affordable home. Buyers can purchase a share of a property while holding the full title, with the Scottish Government funding the remaining share under a shared equity agreement.

“Scotland continues to be a great place to buy a first home and has led the way in the delivery of affordable housing across the UK. We have now delivered almost 113,000 affordable homes since 2007, over 79,000 of which were for social rent.

“If you’re from one of the priority groups and would like to own a home, I’d encourage you to consider the Open Market Shared Equity scheme.”

Background

Open Market Shared Equity scheme

Open Market Shared Equity scheme information leaflet

In August 2022 the eligibility of the scheme was widened to put applicants on a more level playing field with other buyers when purchasing an affordable home.

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 9% across the country to reflect rising house prices.

Thresholds are set at the lowest 25% of house prices in urban areas and the lowest 50% of house prices in rural areas.

Through the Open Market Shared Equity scheme, buyers pay for the biggest share which is usually between 60% and 90% of the home's cost.

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