Osborne offers help for first-time homebuyers

LONDON Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:40pm GMT

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LONDON (Reuters) - The government will offer loans to help first-time buyers get on the property ladder, Chancellor George Osborne said on Wednesday.

In his 2011 Budget, Osborne said the shared-equity scheme would cost 250 million pounds and be funded from the proceeds of last year's bank levy.

"A new shared equity scheme, First Buy, will be available for first-time buyers who want to purchase a newly built property, but who cannot afford the high deposits," Osborne told parliament.

"This will help 10,000 families get on to the housing ladder for the first time."

Osborne also announced that he would extend for another year its "Support for Mortgage Interest" scheme, something he said would reduce mortgage arrears for around 100,000 out-of-work homeowners.

(Reporting by Christina Fincher; Editing by Mike Peacock)

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