The Firstbuy shared equity scheme announced by the chancellor will be open to first-time buyers earning less than £66,000 but will still require a 5 per cent deposit. The Firstbuy programme will allow first time buyers access to a 20 per cent equity loan provided jointly by the government and house builders. The Government has pledged £250 million to the scheme of which £210 million will be available to England with the rest going to the devolved administrations.

It is designed to help 10,000 households over two years and replaces the previous government’s first-time buyer scheme, Homebuy Direct, which closed towards the end of last year. That scheme did not require a deposit from buyers, but lenders are understood to have requested a deposit element in Firstbuy to ensure buyers take their responsibilities seriously.

There are still only a handful of lenders who have signed up to the new scheme. Previously, with the Homebuy Direct Scheme, the main lenders were the Halifax and Nationwide. Hopefully, the number of lenders willing to participate in this new scheme will be greater, therefore offering more choice.

I would be more than happy to discuss this with any family members or friends who you feel would benefit from more information on the new Firstbuy scheme.