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More starter homes needed

David Cameron’s pledge to turn “Generation Rent into Generation Buy” has been welcomed, but will his ‘starter homes’ plan work?

The Negotiator

David Cameron imageThe Government wants to give thousands of young people the opportunity to own property, David Cameron announced during the closing speech of the Conservative Party conference last week.

Not for the first time, the Prime Minister talked about plans for new starter homes – to be built as part of a new residential development, allowing housebuilders to fulfil their obligation to develop affordable homes.

Cameron hopes that the starter homes, which would be sold for 20 per cent below the market rate, will lead to a significant increase in housebuilding levels, as part of the Government’s plans to tackle the mounting housing shortage.

The starter homes discount will apply to properties worth up to £450,000 in London and £250,000 outside the capital, and the Tories believe this scheme will provide 200,000 new homes by 2020.

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) has welcomed the Government’s plans to deliver on its pledge to improve homeownership opportunities for young people.

Stewart Beasley, HBF imageStewart Baseley (left) of HBF said, “Greater flexibility in the way affordable housing is provided should not only speed up the process of securing an implementable planning permission but also make more sites viable for new housing. This will in turn increase availability of homes of all types and help address the chronic shortage that has been allowed to develop.

“Housebuilders are committed to delivering high quality, low-cost homes for a new generation of first-time buyers, if the policy environment allows them to.”

Lawrence Hall, Zoopla imageThe Prime Minister’s pledge to build more starter homes for first-time buyers represents positive news for those trying to take their first step on the property ladder, according to Lawrence Hall (right) of Zoopla.

He commented, “Truly turning generation rent into generation buy will be a long and difficult journey, but this announcement represents an encouraging first step.”

However, the NAEA believe that Cameron’s plans to build 200,000 starter homes will fall short of the number of properties needed to satisfy high demand for affordable housing.

The NAEA’s latest housing report found that sales made to first-time buyers in August fell to the lowest level since July 2014, suggesting that many first-time purchasers are being squeezed out the market.

“The announcement from David Cameron on his plans to build 200,000 new homes is good news, but it simply isn’t enough bricks and mortar to lift us out of the crisis we currently find ourselves in,” said Mark Hayward, the NAEA’s Managing Director.

October 14, 2015

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