Builders warn of “housing limbo” as first time buyer lending falls

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HOME builders have expressed concern at a new report showing a continuing fall in the number of first time buyers in Scotland.

Homes for Scotland, which represent businesses in the building trade, has warned that the country faces a “housing limbo” following the closure of the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme.

The scheme helped those looking to buy new homes up to £250,000 overcome the difficulties associated with large deposits.

 

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Homes for Scotland has warned that the country faced being left in “housing limbo” following the closure of the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme

 

 

The reaction follows Council of Mortgage Lender figures for the first quarter of 2015 which showed a 23 per cent drop compared to the last quarter of 2014 and a seven per cent drop on the same period a year ago.

Karen Campbell, Director of Policy at trade body Homes for Scotland, said: “With First Time Buyers the lifeblood of our industry, today’s figures represent the fourth consecutive quarterly fall and therefore make for disappointing reading indeed.

“Coming just a day after the early closure of the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme which successfully supported 5000 sales, they underscore the need for continuing Scottish Government support.”

She continued: “They also emphasise the significant disadvantage that buyers and builders in Scotland now face compared to elsewhere in Britain with both England and Wales extending their schemes to not only meet the obvious demand that exists but also facilitate the building of much needed new homes with all the wide-ranging social, economic and environmental benefits this brings.

“It is therefore imperative that the Scottish Government gives a clear and early signal of its intentions on the matter if Scotland is to avoid being left in housing limbo.”

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