Construction Loans News:- Housebuilders north of the border are urging the government to extend help-to-buy to 2023 in line with England.

The scheme finishes in Scotland at the end of March 2021, shortly before Scottish parliament elections in May, which Homes for Scotland, HfS, argues is too soon.

The home builders’ trade body fears without clarity over future funding there’s a risk the larger homebuilders will prioritise markets south of the border.

HfS policy director, Fiona Kell, said: “We believe something as important as housing should be across parliamentary terms and shouldn’t operate across electoral cycles.”

The organisation’s comments follow national statistics released this week showing an 18 per cent rise in new house completions for the year ending June 2019 – the highest figure since 2008.

However, HfS points out that for the first part of this year there was a decrease in new homes completed.

HfS chief executive, Nicola Barclay, said: “A deeper delve into the statistics reveals a five per cent drop in completions between the first quarter and the second quarter 2019, demonstrating the fragility that still exists across the housing market.”

The trade body said the registered social landlords’ 55,000 new affordable homes by March 2021 would be a tough target to hit without a future budget in place.

“It is critical that our registered social landlord members receive certainty on grant funding levels post-2021.  This will enable builders across the housing spectrum to plan their investment programmes accordingly to deliver more homes for Scotland,” said Ms Barclay.

The Scottish government press office said it would indicate about longer-term funding once the UK government announces its budget date, likely to be early 2020.

First-time buyers’ initiative goes live

Scotland launched a £150m first home buyers’ fund this week where borrowers will be given up to £25,000 for the purchase of a new or existing property as long as they can provide a five per cent deposit. It’s estimated this will help up to 6,000 people buy their first home. There is no price cap on the value of the property, unlike the help-to-buy scheme which has a £200,000 limit.  Ms Kell said this was a positive move especially as house prices in Edinburgh were generally above the £200,000 mark.

First minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said: “Removing barriers and supporting people to buy the home they want is at the heart of this new fund. That is why we are acting to make the process fairer, to offer a helping hand to those buying a new home.”

Construction Loans by HZA

Brokers Hank Zarihs Associates said development finance lenders were keen to grant construction loans for new housing schemes but agreed home builders needed to know more about future government funding.

Hank Zarihs Associates | Scottish home builders push for longer term funding security

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