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Propertymark heaps praise on government’s First Homes policy

Propertymark has thrown its weight behind the government’s First Homes initiative, describing it as “creative” and saying it’s a sign of how the Westminster administration “recognises the importance of home ownership.”

The government has this week announced more details about First Homes, which will see selected new builds sold at a 30 per cent discount to first time buyers. 

The market price will be capped at £250,000 across the UK, or £420,000 in Greater London, while the applicant first time buyers’ household income must not exceed £80,000 - or £90,000 in Greater London.

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Local authorities can work with developers to ring-fence new builds for key workers and are encouraged to reserve for those with local connections.

Propertymark’s acting chief executive Nathan Emerson says: “First Homes is a creative initiative and one that can really work because you are not just introducing more buyers, you are also giving them a home to buy. 

“That is key because we have a very busy market right now, full of hungry buyers, and there is a danger that introducing more buyers without increasing supply could further push the supply and demand out of balance, meaning house prices would continue to rise.

“It’s clear that the government recognise the importance of homeownership. Looking forward we want to see a further expansion of measures to support the market as a whole. 

“Coupled with planning reforms to make building easier and create more homes, the government should now look to incorporate initiatives to encourage and support older generations to downsize and release family homes.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to push homeownership at last year’s Conservative conference and ‘First Homes’ is the latest addition to a string of measures, including the long-running stamp duty holiday and the introduction of the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme allowing some buyers to access to 95 per cent loan to value mortgages.

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