First-time buyers continue to get a helping hand on to the property ladder in Grantham

South Kesteven District Council.
South Kesteven District Council.
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South Kesteven District Council says it has given a further £1 million to help first-time home buyers in the area.

Yesterday (Thursday) at full council, members approved allocating money to boost the ‘Local Lend a Hand’ partnership, which was launched with Lloyds TSB last year. The extra money will allow the scheme to extend and continue into 2014.

When the scheme was launched, SKDC gave an initial £1 million and just over half of that has been committed already, with more purchases planned soon.

Leader of the council Linda Neal said: “It’s been a great success and we want to do more for would-be home owners across the district.”

So far, the partnership has enabled 18 people to buy their first home, by SKDC guaranteeing up to 20 per cent of the mortgage deposit, leaving the buyer to find five per cent.

The price limits are now being increased, as are loan guarantee amounts. The maximum price for a property that the council will assist with the buying of is set to rise to £155,000 from £125,000 to compensate for higher prices in certain parts of the district.

The maximum loan size is currently up to £118,750, but will be increased to £147,250.

Coun Neal said: “We are hoping to help even more people into their own homes, stimulating the market and for many, making dreams come true.

“Every first-time buyer purchase triggers a further five property movements, all of which is good for the economy overall and fits with our aim to support good housing for all.”

The scheme is actively promoted by Lloyds TSB mortgage advice staff in Grantham, Stamford and Bourne. It is under consideration whether to add the Leeds Building Society and Teachers Building Society to the partnership.