20/10/2011

£3.25m Scheme To Help First Time Buyers

A new scheme worth over three million pounds has been launched to help first time buyers get their foot on the property ladder and in turn boost the construction sector.

NI Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has announced the FirstBuyNI pilot scheme aimed at helping new and returning homebuyers to buy new build homes.

The scheme will assist around 100 new and returning home buyers by reducing the amount of deposit they need.

With FirstBuyNI, purchasers with a 5% deposit will be able to afford a new home if they can obtain a 75% mortgage. The remaining 20% will be financed by Co-Ownership Housing, which administers the scheme.

As their earnings increase over the years, the purchasers can move to full home ownership by increasing their equity stake.
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Nelson McCausland said: "FirstBuyNI is good news for people trying to get on the property ladder, especially at this time of financial hardship. In particular, new build properties often require around 20% deposit. This scheme will help people who would find it difficult to afford buying a new build house outright, to take their first steps towards home ownership.

"It is also welcome news for the construction industry in Northern Ireland. It is my hope that this scheme will stimulate the sale of new build homes and have a knock on effect of creating more jobs in a sector which has been badly affected by the slow down in the housing market.

"I would encourage all those thinking about buying a new build property to find out more about FirstBuyNI now. I also hope to make an announcement on substantial additional funding for affordable housing in the near future."

Alan Crowe, Co-Ownership Housing Chief Executive commented: "FirstBuyNI is a welcome initiative for Northern Ireland, helping today’s home buyers and is available on property up to £175,000.

Funding must be taken up before end of March 2012 and to find out more go to: www.nidirect.gov.uk/firstbuyni

(LB/BMcC)

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