New programs to boost housing in Scotland

New government package helps to encourage first time buyers to invest in Scotland property, making a good situation better in Scotland where property prices increase modestly.

In a country seemingly less hurt by the global credit crisis and subprime markets, Scotland's government announced today a new plan to help buyers to get into housing.

The government announced today that it will offer a new shared equity scheme. It will become part of the LIFT program, or Low cost Initiative for First Time Buyers. The goal is to provide change to the way that homes are built, bought and sold here. Communities Minister Stewart Maxwell announced the plan and said that house builders, councils and housing association would play a role.

The housing goal is to provide affordable housing that is good quality and energy efficient.  The goal outlined several key elements including for builders and investors to increase the housing supply by at least 35,000 homes a year by the middle of next decade. It also has goals of increasing the role of local authorities in by encouraging landlords with financial incentives and by ending the Right to Buy on new housing.

This new policy hopes to continue to boost the housing market here. The property market in Scotland is successful, currently, and in 2007 did see a fourth quarter increase up 5.2 per cent over the previous year. The long term average since 2001 has been an 8 per cent increase yearly.

The average mortgage quote in Scotland is £144,900 while in the UK it stands at £197,000. Additionally, interest rate cuts are likely at least once if not twice in 2008, according to economists there.