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Government opens FirstBuy scheme

The Government’s FirstBuy scheme which is intended to help first time buyers get on the property ladder is now open to applicants.

Announced in March’s Budget, the £500m scheme which is joint funded by house builders and Government provides a low interest loan of up to 20 per cent of the cost of the house. It will be available to FTBs with a 5 per cent deposit and an income of less than £60,000.

Housing minister Grant Shapps says: “With 80 per cent of young first time buyers depending on parental help, I am determined that we pull out all of the stops to help those who want to take their first steps on the housing ladder.”

Loans will be repaid on resale of the property and the Government’s half of the loans will be reinvested into affordable housing.

Shapps added that the scheme will help 10,000 people over two years to buy newly built homes.

Halifax, Nationwide, Barclays and The Melton Mowbray Building Society will be offering 75 per cent loan to value mortgages for those signing up to the scheme.

A Treasury select committee report on the Budget, published in April, warned that while the move could help first time buyers it could help push up house prices. It called on the Government to review the plan annually.

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