THE first person to purchase a house using the Help to Buy Scotland initiative collected the keys to their dream home on Friday, November 22.
Barratt North Scotland led the new homeowner through the process to enable them to move in to a property at its Devona Gate development in Aberdeen.
The buyer has become the first in the country to make use of the scheme, which was launched at the end of September by the Scottish Government.
Explains a spokesperson: “Help to Buy Scotland dramatically improves the prospect of owning a home or moving home by reducing the deposit required to just five per cent.
“Uniquely, the scheme provides new build homebuyers with the prospect of a 20 per cent equity loan from the Government. It will also enable qualifying customers to access low-cost mortgage finance for the remaining 75 per cent.”
Mike Cowie, sales director of Barratt North Scotland, said: “Within hours of the initiative being unveiled we fielded our first inquiries and the flow has been steady ever since.
“We have a significant number of applications already approved at present and expect those to be completed shortly, but we are delighted to have set the ball rolling with the first completion in Scotland with Help to Buy taking place at our popular Devona Gate development.”
Devona Gate, in the Aberdeen suburb of Dyce, has been Barratt North Scotland’s fastest selling site in 2013. Built on the site of the former BP headquarters, it features a range of apartments, townhouses and family homes.
Mike Cowie added: “As a company we have always endeavoured to make home ownership accessible through our own incentives, but Help to Buy Scotland has provided vital added support. It is a straightforward application and one our sales team is trained to assist with, ensuring it is a smooth and fast process.”
The completed house sale will be the first of many in Scotland under Help to Buy Scotland.
Grampian Housing Association, which is acting as an agent for the Scottish Government to process applications in the north-east, expects six further completions in the near future with a further 99 application already authorised to proceed. An additional ten applications are currently being considered.
Judith Sutherland, of Grampian Housing Association, said: “The interest in Help to Buy Scotland has exceeded all expectations – with the forecast we received for our region for an entire year surpassed within the space of a couple of weeks.
“Our role is to co-ordinate the various parties involved and, ultimately, to issue authorisation for applications which meet the criteria. The system has been very effective.”
The Scottish Government welcomed today’s agreement.
Housing Minister, Margaret Burgess, said: “We welcome the news that the Scottish Government’s Help to Buy Scotland scheme has now seen its first completion – and that it is helping people across Scotland to access a new home.
“Help to Buy Scotland, which has been accepting applications since September 30, helps first-time buyers and others buy new homes and also aims to support industry and encourage wider economic growth. The scheme continues to generate a lot of interest and we look forward to seeing many more people access new properties through the scheme.”
Philip Hogg, chief executive of industry body, Homes for Scotland, said: “The Help to Buy Scotland shared equity scheme is yet another demonstration that the new build market offers the widest possible range of options to help people realise their home ownership aspirations.
“With incredible energy efficiency, the peace of mind of a ten-year warranty, protection of the Consumer Code for Home Builders and proven customer satisfaction – with 93 per cent of Scottish buyers confirming they would recommend their builder – new homes offer a range of benefits that the second-hand market simply cannot match.”
For further information about Help to Buy Scotland and Barratt North Scotland’s developments, please visit www.barratthomes.co.uk or call 0844 811 6655.
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Contact: Paul Smith