Schemes to help you buy a home in Scotland

Read our guide to Scotland’s home buying schemes including Help to Buy and Shared Ownership, and see if you can buy your own home using one of the schemes.

Help to Buy


The Mortgage Guarantee Scheme will close to new loans on 31 December 2016.

The Help to Buy scheme in Scotland is fully subscribed and is no longer accepting applications. All applications that were received by agents by midnight on 26 May 2015 will be assessed and supported if eligible under the rules of the scheme; all ‘Authorities to Proceed’ already issued remain eligible.

The Help to Buy (Scotland) Small Developers scheme continues to accept applications for properties completed up to and including 31 March 2016 from over 200 registered builders.

  • A shared equity scheme aimed at helping both first-time buyers and home movers
  • You must have a deposit of at least 5%
  • The property you are buying cannot cost more than £250,000
  • Your deposit and mortgage will cover a combined minimum of 80% of the purchase price
  • The Scottish Government will cover a stake of up to 20% of the purchase price, and as a result, it holds a security over this proportion, but you own the home outright
  • The mortgage must be a repayment mortgage
  • You get an interest-free loan from the government on their equity stake (up to 20%)
  • Can only be used to buy a new-build property from a builder participating in the scheme
  • Annual personal income is not a factor but you will not be eligible if you can afford more than 90% of the purchase price

Scotland Help to Buy

Help to Buy scheme: everything you need to know

A guide to Help to Buy ISAs

There are two other shared equity schemes in Scotland, which were created for first-time buyers only, under its LIFT (Low-cost Initiative for First-Time Buyers) programme.

New Supply Shared Equity (NSEE)

  • Buy a new-build property either from a housing association or a housing co-operative
  • While you own the property outright, you will be effectively be buying a stake ranging between 60-80% in the property with the remainder being funded by the Scottish Government
  • You need to have a small deposit and get a mortgage to buy your portion
  • The Scottish Government will have security on the property to cover the proportion it has funded
  • You do not have to pay interest on the government funded portion
  • You repay the government when you sell
  • You can buy a bigger stake after two years until you own it all

How much can you afford to borrow?

Affordability calculator

You repay your mortgage lender and the Scottish Government when you sell. Here’s an example of the scheme for someone buying 60% of the property:

Cost of property £100,000 % of cost
Scottish Government share £40,000 40%
Your share £60,000 60%
Sale price of property £120,000  
Scottish Government share £48,000 40%
Your share £72,000 60%*

Open Market Shared Equity scheme

This scheme operates on a similar basis to NSSE except:

  • It allows you to buy a property for sale on the open market
  • The maximum stake which you can buy in the property can be up to 90%

Shelter Scotland

Right to Buy

The Right to Buy scheme will end on 1 August 2016. Council and housing association tenants who still have a right to buy have until 31 July 2016 to use this right.

For more information about the change to this scheme, visit the Scottish Government website.

Shared Ownership

This is a cross between buying and renting, aimed mainly at first-time buyers.

You buy a share of the property (usually 25%, 50% or 75%), and a housing association, or other social housing organisation, owns the rest.

You pay to the Housing Association an occupancy charge (equivalent to a reduced rent) on the part you don’t own. Priority is generally given to council and housing association tenants or people on their waiting lists.

Your local council

Shelter Scotland

Your next step

Applying for a mortgage