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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

First time buyers may get discounts if they buy locally, government says

The Housing Secretary says he wants to make home ownership more affordable for first time buyers - which could mean discounts if they live close to the property they buy. 

A statement this morning from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government says this could include increasing the number of homes sold at discounted prices to people trying to get onto the property ladder, boosting homeownership and helping build local support for new development. 

The government statement did not include any details as to how this would work - how 'locally' would be defined, the discounts involved, whether they applied only to new build homes, nor who would pay for them.

But the government did say that homeowners buying a property under Help to Buy will be given new - and again so far unspecified - freedoms which will make it easier to take out a 35-year mortgage. 

The government has also today closed a loophole with immediate effect that prevented people from taking out a mortgage with a term of more than 25 years. The change means homeowners can reduce their monthly mortgage repayments by spreading their borrowing over a longer period.

On top of that Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick says the government is to review a new national model for shared ownership to make it easier for people to buy more of their own home, including allowing them to buy in one per cent increments.

At present, they have to buy an increased share in 10 per cent chunks, which can be as much as £45,000 per time. 

Jenrick says: “Building the houses this country needs is a central priority of this government. We know that most people still want to own their own home, but for many the dream seems a remote one. My mission is to increase the number of homes that are being delivered and to get more young people and families onto the housing ladder, particularly those on lower incomes.”

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