The Government has announced a new scheme to boost housebuilding – the Starter Home Initiative – that will offer first-time buyers aged under 40 a 20% discount on new build homes.
The proposals, which are currently under an eight-week consultation, are that homes will be developed on under-used and brownfield land. If adopted, this would bring starter homes into people’s budgets, or enable them to make further home improvements such as the installation of decking.
With new developments still only around half of the 250,000 new homes needed to bring first-time buyers into the property market, the discount, which could apply to as many as 100,000 properties, will be funded by changes to the planning system.
The Home Builders Federation reacted positively, with executive chairman Stewart Baseley commenting that, “bringing forward more land for house building, while also enabling more first time buyers to realise their ambition of home ownership would be another positive step on the way to tackling the housing shortage.”
However, critics say that this money will be utilised at the expense of affordable housing because developers will be freed from Section 106 requirements to fund affordable homes and infrastructure.