First-time buyers are to be offered loans of up to £25,000 to help pay the deposits on their first property, Nicola Sturgeon announced at the SNP conference in Edinburgh.

These loans will be available to those who can fund a minimum of five per cent of the value of a new home. The Scottish government confirmed these loans will be secured on the equity of the house and will be repaid when the home is sold, meaning no monthly payments are required on top of a mortgage.

No age restrictions will be placed on applications as well as no limit on the types of properties which are eligible. The scheme will be open to couples, even if one partner is not a first-time buyer.

The £150 million pilot scheme will open later this year and will run until the end of parliament in 2021.

Ms Sturgeon concluded:

“Some first-time buyers trying to get onto the property ladder can call on the financial help of relatives or friends – the famous Bank of Mum and Dad. But for those who can’t, the average age of a first-time buyer is now 35.”

The scheme was one of several measures put forward to make Scotland’s property market fairer. The Scottish government announced plans to tackle the significant growth of short-term lets – such as Airbnb – in a bid to protect its housing stock. A consultation has now been launched, asking the public to consider what powers local authorities should have to regulate and cap these kinds of properties – such as licensing of short-term lets – and what is the best way to ensure local communities are protected.

The consultation, which closes on the 19th July 2019, can be accessed here.

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