Young people and families helped to buy their own homes

First-time buyers get on property ladder.

More than 30,000 households have been helped to buy their home through Scottish Government support schemes since 2007.

Figures published today show that the majority of these purchasers were first-time buyers and young people, who often struggle to get into the property market. Just over a third were families with children.

This has been achieved through the Scottish Government’s two homeownership schemes – Help to Buy (Scotland) and the Low Cost Initiative for First-Time Buyers (LIFT).

The Scottish Government has invested over £1.2 billion in Help to Buy and LIFT, and has exceeded its commitment in 2017 to support up to 3,500 households into affordable home ownership, including approximately 2,500 first-time buyers.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said:

“We want to make sure everyone has a safe, warm, affordable place to call home, and creating a fairer housing market will help us achieve that.

“A home is so much more than just a place to live – it awards a sense of identity, belonging and pride.

“We know how difficult it can be for many people to save for a deposit and get onto the property ladder, especially without financial support from family and friends.

“I am pleased these figures show we are supporting young first time buyers onto the property ladder with more than 80% of households being first-time buyers and more than 70% aged 35 and under.

“These current programmes will be joined by a Scottish Government national pilot scheme to provide support for first-time buyers by contributing to the deposit they need when buying their first home."


The Help to Buy scheme offers an interest-free equity contribution of up to 15% against the value of a new build home.

The Low Cost Initiative for First-Time Buyers (LIFT) allows those new to the property market to buy a home without having to fund its entire cost, by providing an interest free equity contribution of up to 40% against its value.

  • Over 8 in 10 of Help to Buy (Scotland) households were first time buyers (81% in 2017/18 and 82% in 2018/19), an increase on the percentages seen in previous years
  • 78% of purchasers were aged 35 and under in 2017/18 and 79% aged 35 or under in 2018/19
  • More information on Scottish Government home ownership schemes, which includes Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) as part of the Low Cost Initiative for First-Time Buyers (LIFT) can be found online
  • The reports show that in 2017/18, 4056 people were supported into home ownership across the Help to Buy and OMSE schemes with 99% (approximately 1,748) of OMSE purchasers and 81% (approximately 1855) of HTB purchasers first time buyers.
  • This demonstrates the Programme for Government 2017-18 commitment to support “up to 3,500 households this financial year into affordable home ownership, including approximately 2,500 first-time buyers, with assistance from our Help to Buy and other shared equity schemes” has been exceeded
  • Read more on the £150 million national pilot scheme for first-time buyers, starting later this year


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