Open Market Shared Equity
Open Market Shared Equity helps people who want to buy a home on the open market but can't afford the full price.
The LIFT (Low-cost Initiative for First-Time Buyers) Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) scheme provides eligible applicants with funding between 10 and 40% toward the purchase price of a property which has been advertised on the open market.
With the scheme, applicants fund the majority share of the purchase of their property and own the property outright. The Scottish Government will hold the remaining share of the property under a shared equity agreement. In most areas you can increase your share up to 100% in the future.
We administer the scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government across the whole of Scotland.
The Scottish Government has updated the administrative procedures for the Low-cost Initiative for First-Time Buyers (LIFT) scheme as of October 2018.
Following this review, changes to the price thresholds for the scheme came into effect as of 17 December 2018.
All applications made to the scheme after this date are subject to the new thresholds.
- Priority groups
The scheme is open to the following priority groups:
- First-time buyers
- Social renters (people who rent a property from either a local authority or a housing association)
- Disabled people with a housing need
- Members of the Armed Forces
- Veterans who have left the armed forces within the past two years
- Widows, widowers and other partners of service personnel for up to two years after their partner has been killed whilst serving in the armed forces
If you meet one of the above criteria and would like to apply to the scheme, please complete the online application form.
People aged over 60 who can demonstrate a need to move - by meeting at least one of the following criteria - can apply to the Open Market Shared Equity scheme:
- Under-occupation – the applicant is living in a property which is too large and needs to downsize
- The applicant’s existing property is no longer suitable to meet their needs – (e.g. they can no longer manage the stairs)
- Support – the applicant needs to move closer to family or friends that provide care and support
If you are over 60 there is no requirement to take out a mortgage, but you must contribute as much as you can towards the purchase price. This includes all proceeds of the sale from any existing or previous property and the majority of your savings.
If you are over 60, meet one of the above criteria and wish to apply to the scheme, please complete the online application form.
- What types of property can you buy?
The Scottish Government has set limits as to the price and size of a property which people can purchase across each local authority. Applicants will only be able to purchase properties that are suitable for their needs.
For example, a family of four (two parents and two children) could be entitled to purchase up to a four bedroom property.
Once you've been approved to the scheme and have found a home on the open market you'd like to purchase, the shared equity team will assess whether the property meets with the criteria of the scheme. For more information on the different threshold prices and sizes for each area, please read the price thresholds leaflet.
- I'm eligible, what do I do now?
We recommend you speak with an Independent Financial Advisor/ Mortgage Adviser. Once you have received your Mortgage Promise or Mortgage Agreement in Principle, you or your mortgage adviser will be able to submit your application to the LIFT scheme.
- My LIFT application has been accepted, what now?
You will be issued a passport letter detailing your acceptance to the scheme. You will then be able to look for properties that match the criteria stated on your passport.
Once you have found a suitable property, simply email the details to the LIFT team at email@example.com and we will let you know if you can make an offer.
Click here to find out what information you need to to send to us.
Apply for LIFT online
Apply for the Low-cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT) scheme.
Apply for the LIFT over-60s scheme online
Apply for the Over-60's Low-cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT) scheme.
Contact our shared equity team
For more information about shared equity please call 0330 303 0125 or complete our online enquiry form