Scottish First Home Fund closes its doors

The First Home Fund, a shared equity pilot scheme, was launched by the Scottish Government to provide first-time buyers with funding, however, it has closed for applications five days after it re-opened.

The fund re-opened on 1 April 2021 with a budget of £60 million. The aim was to provide first-time buyers with up to £25,000 to help them buy a property that meets their needs and is located in the area where they want to live.

First launched in December 2019 with an initial budget of £150 million to pilot a new approach to supporting first-time buyers, was open to all first-time buyers in Scotland and could be used for new build and existing properties.

The closure was announced on the Scottish Government website stating the fund is fully committed for 2021-22 and applications are now closed. Any applications in progress but not yet submitted at point of closure are unable to be processed.

Considering the difficulties many have trying to save for a deposit it comes as no surprise there was a great demand for the First Home Fund and now it has closed for applications will prove extremely disappointing for first-time buyers.

Had the Scottish Government made a greater investment in the fund it would have provided a much-needed stimulus to the property market, now we are likely to see a dearth of first-time buyers leaving it more challenging for the middle movers to move up the ladder.

With the elections forthcoming now is the time for all political parties to show their commitment to first-time buyers by promising financial support to help them secure a home.

Daryl McIntosh Policy Manager | Propertymark