The Help to Buy scheme ran out of funding very quickly in Scotland for the year 2014-15, and the same could well happen for 2015-16, so there will be a stricter cap on eligible house prices for next year.
In an attempt to make the scheme stretch further and help more people, the house value that will be allowed to be purchased through the scheme will be brought down from £400,000 to £250,000.
The Housing Minister, Margaret Burgess, had to defend the reduction. People with families who would have fallen between the £250,000 and the £400,000 feel they will be missing out on the scheme, despite the fact it was originally created to help first time buyers get onto the property ladder. The majority of first time buyers, it is argued, would not be looking at a property as expensive as £400,000.
Mrs Burgess said: “By targeting the scheme at properties at or below a value of £250,000, it will support first time buyers and people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to buy a new-build home. The changes will also see the benefits of Help to Buy extended for as long as possible.”
This revelation also caused outrage because of the changes being made to tax when buying a property. In Scotland, Stamp Duty Land Tax will be replaced with a Land and Building Transactions Tax, which will effectively cost those buying a home above £325,000 more.
This double whammy for those in the £325,000 – £400,000 value bracket has caused a lot of resentment.
Despite this, many more people will be able to make use of the Help to Buy scheme before the budget runs out in the next year, and get many first time buyers into the property market.