LIFT – Open Market Shared Equity
What is the Open Market Shared Equity scheme?
The Open Market Shared Equity scheme allows people on low to moderate incomes to buy homes that are for sale on the open market where it is affordable for them to do so. The scheme has been helping to support the housing market during the difficult economic climate.
Information on other schemes to help first time buyers on low to moderate incomes access home ownership is available at www.scotland.gov.uk/LIFT
For 2011/12, the Open Market Shared Equity scheme will again be open to social renters and people in the armed forces or veterans throughout Scotland. Additionally the scheme will be opened up to help all first time buyers in certain defined rural local authority areas. These areas include Shetland Islands, Orkney Islands, Highland, Eilean Siar, Moray, Perth and Kinross, Aberdeenshire, East Lothian, Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Argyll & Bute, South Ayrshire, and Angus.
How does the scheme operate?
The minimum equity stake that buyers must take in a property is 60 percent and the maximum equity stake is 90 percent. Lenders normally require buyers to provide a modest deposit.
Applications to the scheme are assessed by registered social landlords who administer the scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government. Registered social landlords will undertake a detailed financial assessment of individual household circumstances using certain criteria, such as looking at the disposable income the household has. This information will be obtained from the standard application form which applicants to the scheme must complete.
There are limits set on the price of homes that can be bought under the open market scheme to ensure that only 'starter' properties are available through the scheme - these are known as threshold prices. These limits vary according to house prices in different parts of Scotland, called threshold price areas, and are reviewed regularly.
|Highland Areas Covered (defined by LIFT)||Number of Bedrooms||Open Market Price
|Central Highlands covers towns like Aviemore, Inverness and Golspie||1||£95,000|
|East Highlands covers towns like Helmsdale, Wick and Thurso||1||£60,000|
|West Highlands covers towns like Fort William, Portree and Ullapool||1||£85,000|
An information leaflet for applicants is available.