ESPC: Budget is opportunity to provide real help to first-time buyers

ESPC: Budget is opportunity to provide real help to first-time buyers

Paul Hilton

ESPC has called for greater help for first-time buyers in Scotland in order to improve access to the market for people who’ve been hit by years of high house price inflation and now high interest rates.

The property portal for home buyers and sellers in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders also believes that helping more people to buy would ease the current pressure on the rental market, as well as boosting the broader economy.

Initiatives like the Open Market Shared Equity Scheme, New Supply Shared Equity Scheme and the First Home Fund have been in operation, including one which closed after a year’s worth of funding was used up in just eight days, but ESPC’s chief executive Paul Hilton believes far more could be done.

He said: “A cooler market creates opportunity for first-time buyers, and the right help from the government could make a huge difference.

“Recent ESPC research has suggested that two in five buyers have been affected by changes to mortgage rates amid the cost of living crisis, with some reporting they have delayed their plans to buy, or have changed the type or location of property they were hoping to purchase.

“ESPC knows how much demand from potential first-time buyers there is, and we know that getting more of them onto the housing ladder confers wider economic benefits. We are making ourselves available to the Scottish Government to discuss their options, including the possibility of an increase in the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax relief threshold from £175,000 to £250,000 for first time buyers.”

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