One of the leading consumer groups has backed the government’s controversial First Homes policy, which aims to give 30 per cent discounts to ‘local’ first time buyers of new homes built to fit with the policy.
Paula Higgins, chief executive of the Homeowners Alliance, says: “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.”
Under the plan, first time buyers wishing to get on the property ladder and stay in their local area will save an average of £100,000 according to government figures.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government says that slashing the cost of the necessary deposit – an example given concerns a £246,000 property having more than £18,000 cut from a 20 per cent deposit – will mean young people will not be forced to move away from their home towns when searching for an affordable property.
Armed forces veterans will be given priority under the scheme, and councils will be encouraged to allow front-line workers, such as teachers, nurses, prison officers and police, to be prioritised too.
The government says that the scheme will be funded through contributions that housing developers routinely provide through the planning system, which means that there will be no extra building costs.
The reduction will be locked in ‘in perpetuity’ so will be passed on to the next first time buyer when the original owner sells.
The government has now started a consultation that you can see here.