LIFT – Shared Ownership for First Time BuyersLIFT

Open Market Shared Equity Scheme

The Open Market Shared Equity scheme allows potential buyers on low to moderate incomes to buy homes that are for sale on the open market where it is affordable for them to do so.The scheme has been helping to support the housing market during the difficult economic climate and has proved very popular over the recent years. The scheme is currently only open to applicants who meet LIFT’s restrictions.

The minimum equity stake that buyers must take in a property is 60 percent and is up to a maximum equity stake of 90 percent. Lenders normally require buyers to provide a modest deposit of 5% of their equity stake. Some lenders such as Skipton Building Society do not require a 5% deposit. For example:

– £100,000 purchase

– LIFT provide 10%: £10,000

– You provide 5% of your share: £4500*

– You mortgage the remaining difference

*Some lenders may require you to pay a 5% deposit on the full purchase price rather than your equity share

Applications to the scheme are assessed by registered social landlords who administer the scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government. Registered social landlords will undertake a detailed financial assessment of individual household circumstances using certain criteria, such as looking at the disposable income the household has. This information will be obtained from the standard application form which applicants to the scheme must complete.

There are limits set on the price of homes that can be bought under the open market scheme to ensure that only ‘starter’ properties are available through the scheme – these are known as threshold prices. These limits vary according to house prices in different parts of Scotland, called threshold price areas, and are reviewed regularly. There is also restrictions on the type of property you can buy. A couple may only be restricted to a 2 bedroom property, whereas a young family may qualify for a 3 bedroom.


For help on getting a LIFT application, or if you have an application pack and are looking for help completing it call 01501 741222 / 07931 411543 or email