Recent research has revealed that Perth is the best place in the UK to get a foot on the housing ladder. Although property prices in the Perth and Kinross region as a whole are soaring with a 6.1 per cent year-on-year increase, the City of Perth itself saw house prices becoming more affordable over the last year. This was due to more new houses being built at the lower end of the market in Perth to serve first time buyers as well as older people choosing to downsize.
Building more quality affordable housing, including social rent, shared equity and low cost home ownership, is a top priority for Perth & Kinross Council and the local authority has a multi-million pound building programme in place to support this initiative.
The Council is also supporting new builds through Housing Associations and has already seen over 500 new homes delivered across Perth and Kinross since 2012. All of these new properties have been built to the very highest standards in areas where there is an acute shortage of affordable housing for local people and includes over 200 new Council homes.
Perth & Kinross Council currently offer some shared equity homes on a discounted cost basis in partnership with Muir Homes at Castleton, Auchterarder and with Persimmon Homes at Weavers Loan, Kinross. The Council will shortly be marketing new shared equity homes at Moyness, Blairgowrie as part of the Scottish Government’s New Supply Shared Equity, an initiative that offers initial purchase from only 60 per cent of the property valuation.
Perth & Kinross Council’s Housing & Communities Committee Convener Councillor Peter Barrett explained:
“This is an excellent way to give people access to the housing they need at an affordable price. Under the shared equity schemes, priority is generally given to first time buyers.
“However, other priority categories include people who have experienced a significant change in household circumstances; Those currently serving with HM Forces and veterans; People who own a house which no longer suits their needs and people on a moderate income.”
Individuals on a moderate income must be able to demonstrate their gross annual income is insufficient for them to independently purchase a property to meet their needs on the open market.
The scheme works through the Council securing housing units at a discounted price from developers in compliance with their obligation to provide a level of affordable housing in any new developments.
It is aimed at giving local people a new avenue into high-quality, affordable home ownership and helping first-time buyers who otherwise may be finding it difficult to get a foot on the housing ladder, the opportunity to buy a home. People who need to move house to suit their circumstances but can’t quite afford a new property could also benefit from this scheme.
The Council’s affordable house building programme has delivered new Council homes in the towns and settlements right across the region, including Methven, Scone, Alyth, Inchture, Blairgowrie, Auchterarder, Balbeggie and Rattray and in many sites in Perth.
More new builds are in the pipeline and new developments at Scone and Stanley have started recently.