FirstBuyNI is a £3.25m pilot scheme designed to help new and returning property buyers purchase newly-built homes.
Recently announced by Nelson McCauseland, the NI Social Development Minister, this initiative aims to help around 100 families. Co-Ownership Housing will provide assistance provided that buyers can obtain a 75% mortgage and have secured a 5% deposit, by financing the 20% shortfall.
The FirstBuyNI pilot includes properties costing up to £175,000, and buyers can increase their equity stake and advance to full ownership as their earnings rise.
Since 1978, the Co-Ownership Scheme has assisted more than 21,000 people. With the current difficulties facing first-time buyers and low levels of mortgage lending, Mr McCauseland is hopeful that the initiative will give many families in Northern Ireland the opportunity to set foot on the property ladder.
Hopes are also high that the construction industry, which has been badly affected by the state of the housing market, will be stimulated by the sale of new-build homes.