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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

See the latest Coronavirus statistics from across the world on our world map SEE MAP UK Confirmed cases: 286,412 | UK Deaths: 44,283 SEE MAP Italy Confirmed cases: 241,419 | Italy Deaths: 34,854 | Italy Recovered: 191,944 SEE MAP Spain Confirmed cases: 250,545 | Spain Deaths: 28,385 | Spain Recovered: 150,376 SEE MAP See the latest Coronavirus statistics from across the world on our world map SEE MAP UK Confirmed cases: 286,412 | UK Deaths: 44,283 SEE MAP Italy Confirmed cases: 241,419 | Italy Deaths: 34,854 | Italy Recovered: 191,944 SEE MAP Spain Confirmed cases: 250,545 | Spain Deaths: 28,385 | Spain Recovered: 150,376 SEE MAP

The Welsh Government has reported a strong first two weeks for its version of Help To Buy, despite criticism from some opposition politicians.

Labour housing minister Carl Sergeant claims the scheme - which offers loans of up to 20 per cent of the price, interest-free for five years on new-builds costing £300,000 or less - will trigger up to 5,000 purchases across Wales.

Mark Clare, group chief executive of Barratt Developments, says: “In England, Help to Buy really boosted house sales and we’re gearing up for a similar effect in Wales. With improving demand for new homes, we can increase the number of homes we build and we can open new sites.”

Glyn Mabey, chairman of Persimmon in Wales, says: “We’ve been working closely with the Welsh Government to achieve this for some time. As a result we’ve launched a major recruitment drive to help us deliver 1,000 new homes.”

But Liberal Democrats have criticised the Labour administration for being so slow to introduce a version of Help To Buy to the principality - the English version was introduced last March.

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