LIFT Mortgage Scheme

LIFT is a Scottish Government initiative to help first time buyers get onto the housing ladder.

LIFT – Low-cost Initiative for First Time Buyers

The LIFT – Low-cost initiative for First Time Buyers – scheme has a broad range of support for first-time buyers, including:

  • the New Supply Shared Equity Scheme to allow first-time buyers to buy a new build property;
  • the Open Market Shared Equity Pilot is a pilot scheme to allow first-time buyers to buy a property on the open market in areas where affordability is a key problem for buyers

What is LIFT shared equity?

The scheme aim to help people on low to moderate incomes who want to own their own home but who cannot afford to pay the full price for a house.

The buyer normally pays between 60 and 80% of the price of a home, with the remainder paid for by the Scottish Government. The buyer owns the whole property, although the Scottish Government holds a security over the proportion of equity stake it has funded. This means that if the owner sells their property, the Government will receive the value at the time of sale of the percentage equity stake funded. If, for example, the Government funds 40 per cent of the purchase price, when the property is sold 40 per cent of the sale value of the property will be returned to the Scottish Government.

Who is shared equity for?

The LIFT shared equity schemes are aimed at first-time buyers, but other groups are eligible. The schemes are open to all first-time buyers on low to moderate incomes, although some groups of buyers may be given priority if the number of buyers exceeds the number of houses available (this may include people currently living in council or housing association houses or armed forces personnel).

The schemes can help people who are not first-time buyers in some cases. For example, they may be able to help people who are looking for a new home after a significant change in their household circumstances. They may also be able to help disabled people to access more suitable housing.

What is the Open Market Shared Equity Pilot and how does it operate?

The LIFT Shared Ownership scheme aims to help people on low incomes who wish to own their home but who cannot afford to pay the full price for a house.
The Open Market Shared Equity Pilot is currently being run in areas across Scotland where first time buyers find it difficult to find affordable housing for sale.

Please contact your local branch today to speak with our friendly experts who will advise you on the LIFT scheme and other low cost housing schemes available.