First-time buyers home in on Merseyside discount scheme

Northern Housing 3rd March 2008

Friday, 07 March 2008

A new scheme being pioneered on Merseyside is helping to tackle the affordable housing crisis whilst also revitalising streets blighted by boarded-up properties, buy-to-let landlords and short-term tenants. The ‘Own Place’ scheme by The Riverside Group offers a 25 per cent discount on properties on the condition that the buyers agree to live in the property themselves, stay at least five years and don't rent it out.

The properties were either previously vacant or rented out by The Riverside Group and are now in different states of repair. Some have been refurbished for sale; others will need re-decoration and upgrading while others require more comprehensive work.

James Hill, director of Property Strategy for The Riverside Group, said: "Despite the cooling of the housing market, Own Place has been a phenomenal success.

There were five applicants for each of the 20 properties in the pilot and we expect a similar surge of interest when the next 40 properties are released in South Wallasey in the Wirral; Picton, Lodge Lane and Holt Road in Liverpool; and Parr and Haydock in St Helens."