Govt launches scheme to help first-time buyers

The Government has announced plans to proceed with the First Homes scheme aimed at helping more first-time buyers to step onto the property ladder.

The scheme will lower deposit and mortgage requirements for local first-time buyers in England – with the discount applying to a proportion of new homes while the Government consults on how this will be delivered.

The average price of a newly-built home in England is £314,000, but under the First Homes scheme, the Government suggested a property sold with 30% off this price would deliver a £94,000 saving – adding this could enable first-time buyers to get on the ladder faster by taking more than £18,000 off a 20% deposit.

The Government has also indicated a commitment to delivering more than one million new homes over the next five years to further improve the affordability of housing.

Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, said: “First Homes will be life-changing for people all over the country looking to buy their first home. I know that many who are seeking to buy their own home in their local areas have been forced out due to rising prices.

“A proportion of new homes will be made available at a 30% market discount rate – turning the dial on the dream of home ownership. The discount will be passed on with the sale of the property to future first-time buyers, helping thousands more people in years to come and ensuring local communities can stick together.”

Announcing the scheme, the Government revealed it is determined to rebalance the housing market and support homeownership through schemes such as First Homes, as well as by building on existing support – including Help to Buy equity loans which have helped more than 190,000 people step onto the property ladder.

The latest figures showed the number of first-time buyers has reached 357,090 – an 11-year annual high and an increase of 84% since 2010 – while the percentage of homeowners between the ages of 25 and 34 has grown from 36% to 41% in the last five years.

Chief executive of the Homeowners Alliance, Paula Higgins, added: “We know that first-time buyers will welcome the opportunity to buy a good quality home at a discount in their local area. We look forward to contributing to the consultation and working with the government to ensure that the scheme does what it says on the tin – more high quality and affordable local homes for current and future first-time buyers.”

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