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Govt pledges first-time buyer support

First time buyer3

The government is to make it easier for young people to get onto the property ladder through a new nationwide scheme.

The initiative, launched by prime minister Theresa May, will see 30 areas around the UK given help to unlock new land to build starter homes on.

Construction of the new homes is set to begin early this year and be completed by 2018, when they will be offered at a 20 per cent discount to young people who have saved to get a mortgage.

Initially, the scheme will be offered to people who are aged between 23 and 40 and have never previously owned a home, in a bid to increase the number of people entering the housing market.

Positive reaction

Interest from local authorities has been high, with development of the new homes on brownfield sites intended to reinvigorate town centres and also spur the development of green spaces.

Making the announcement, housing minister Gavin Barwell said: “This government is committed to building starter homes to help young first-time buyers get on the housing ladder.

“This first wave of partnerships shows the strong local interest to build thousands of starter homes on hundreds of sites in the coming years. One in three councils has expressed an interest to work with us so far.” 

Further initiatives

It is the second announcement on housing in as many days by the prime minister, who has also revealed that new ‘garden towns’ and villages are to be built across the UK to further boost the supply of new housing.

Initially, 14 new villages of between 1,500 and 10,000 homes and three new towns of 10,000 homes are to be built outside of existing settlements.

It is thought that the new settlements will help buyers by being built on or close to existing transport routes and make use of existing infrastructure close to business hubs.

The housing minister added: “Locally led garden towns and villages have enormous potential to deliver the homes that communities need.

“New communities not only deliver homes, they also bring new jobs and facilities and a big boost to local economies.” 

Easing concerns

To alleviate concerns about ‘urban sprawl’ and large-scale schemes affecting existing towns, the planned developments will convert smaller hamlets into larger communities, and expand existing towns on nearby land.

If successful, both new schemes have the capacity to be expanded and receive additional funding, which would further boost the number of new homes being built and make it easier for thousands more first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder.

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