The abolition of stamp-duty for first-time buyers (FTBs) has supported 240,000 people in getting on to the property ladder, with FTBs accounting for more than 50% of the property buying population for “the first time in a generation”, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in today's Spring Statement.
In the statement, Hammond claimed that the government is “already delivering” on restoring the “dream” of home ownership to millions of young people, highlighting that, in 2018, the government constructed over 220,000 additional homes, the “highest level in all but one of the last 31 years”.
Furthermore, Hammond added that the government is has already planned reform to release land in areas where “the pressure is greatest”, while also developing a five-year, £44bn housing programme to “help raise annual housing supply” to 300,000 people by the mid-2020s.
To further support aspiring young buyers, the Chancellor announced a new £3bn affordable homes guarantee scheme to support the delivery of around 30,000 affordable homes, and reported that £717m from the housing infrastructure fund to unlock up to 37,000 new homes in West London, Cheshire, Didcot and Cambridge.
Commenting on the announcement of the affordable homes guarantee, PRIMIS chief operating officer Toni Smith said: "As expected, today’s announcement has been a low-key affair for the mortgage market. However, the Chancellor’s pledge to pump £3 billion into an Affordable Homes Guarantee scheme to support the delivery of 30,000 affordable homes will be applauded.
"Help to Buy has been crucial in making homeownership a reality for many, with the number of first-time buyers reaching an 11-year high in 2017. With today’s new measure, this section of the market will be reassured that they remain a core focus of the government."
Online mortgage broker Trussle CEO Ishaan Malhi added: "The Chancellor’s commitment to improving affordability suggests the tide is turning for first-time buyers. While chronic under-supply has dogged the market for some time, there is no question that this £3bn Affordable Homes Guarantee scheme will make a difference.
However, Malhi argued that the government is not doing enough: "These 30,000 affordable homes are another step in the right direction, but the truth is that much more needs to be done to quench the thirst of struggling would-be homeowners."
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