Work underway on ‘rent-to-buy’ homes in East Renfrewshire

Newton Mearns QSHConstruction has started on a new £4.2 million development that will provide tenants in Newton Mearns with an affordable way to buy a new-build home.

The rent-to-buy development is the first in Scotland for housing provider QSH, which is targeting £250 million from UK-based investors to deliver 2,000 properties, many of which will be built north of the border.

Tenants in Newton Mearns are due to begin moving into the 42, two bedroom homes – which are being built by Wates Living Space just off Stewarton Road – in spring 2016.

Under the QSH-rent-to-buy scheme, the tenants will pay rents which are two thirds of the local market rate. Half of each of each tenant’s rental payments will automatically be put towards the deposit they need to secure a mortgage to buy their home.

Tenants will have the option to buy between their first and fifth year of living in their new homes. Those who choose to purchase their properties will receive a discount of up to 10 per cent of the open market value.

However, those who opt not to buy during this time can continue renting their homes for a further 15 years.

QSH and Wates Living Space agreed terms for the scheme with East Renfrewshire Council; landowner Greenlaw Park Limited; and managing agent Pinnacle PSG, which will manage the 42 apartments.

Nicola Clayton, business development director at QSH, said: “The Greenlaw scheme will enable households that dream of buying a home in the desirable Newton Mearns area the chance to build a deposit and credit history, and take their first step onto the property ladder.”

Cllr Danny Devlin, convenor of housing services for East Renfrewshire Council, said: “The development will provide much needed affordable homes in Newton Mearns, which has some of the highest rents in Scotland. Many local people cannot afford to remain living here – now 42 households will have the opportunity to pay affordable rents, while working their way to homeownership.”

Ken Ross, chief executive of Ross Developments & Renewables Ltd, the agent acting on behalf of landowner Greenlaw Park Limited, said “This is the beginning of a major investment in affordable homes throughout Scotland by QSH, which is successfully securing funding from major UK financial institutions and making the development of affordable housing a reality.”

The equity investment in the Newton Mearns scheme is the result of a joint venture with private finance house Harcourt Capital.

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