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Call for auto-enrolment to help first time buyers save for deposits

Employers and government should introduce auto-enrolment of monthly salaries to allow people aged 18 to 40 to save for deposits on their first homes according to Localis, a think tank.

The group - which has Communities Secretary Sajid Javid as a contributor - also recommends giving local authorities discretion to re-designate Green Belt land to allow some of it to be released for new homes.

It also calls for state ownership of new housing factories to “produce a generation of new modular homes for on-site assembly” - thus making the house-building process significantly faster and producing homes of a higher quality.

According to a YouGov poll conducted for the report, some 58 per cent of those who did not own their home said they were saving nothing at all each month for a deposit, with fewer than one quarter (23 per cent) admitting to putting aside any cash for a new home.

“Home-ownership is a bulwark against populism and radicalisation –  when you have a tangible stake in society you are far less likely to want to tear it down. It is also an important life ambition, one that recent generations have enjoyed and future generations should too” claims Liam Booth-Smith, chief executive of Localis.

“The housing market is everyone’s problem – those who already own their home are dependent on someone else buying it. If the first rung of the housing ladder is lifted too high, there will be fewer and fewer buyers to sell to in the future” he adds.

The report, called Disrupting The Housing Market, says the National Infrastructure Commission should create new towns in south east England, while there should be more use of surplus public land to site new housing developments, and with private tenants allowed to choose their initial tenancy length at six-month intervals up to thirty-six months, with a one-month break option after six months.

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