BREAKING: Labour to help 80,000 people buy first home

The party, which has been light on housing policy up until now, wants to extend the existing mortgage guarantee scheme.

keir starmer labour housing

Labour has revealed that if the party gains power it will launch a replacement to Help to Buy to give approximately 80,000 young people a chance to get onto the property ladder.

To be called Freedom to Buy it will help families who struggle to save for a large deposit and can’t rely on cash gifts from relatives via a permanent mortgage guarantee scheme to help working people get a mortgage and buy a home.

The initiative follows comments by Keir Starmer (main image) about the ‘security’ his childhood family home gave his parents. He has also condemned the Conservative record on housebuilding, accusing the government of “strangling the aspiration of homeowning for a whole generation”.

But Freedom to Buy is not a new policy from Labour but rather an extended version of the Government’s existing mortgage guarantee scheme, which is due to end in June 2025.

Nevertheless, Starmer says he wants to use other Government ‘levers’ including a reform of planning in order to get young people out of their parents’ properties and on to the housing ladder, highlighting how half of 20-24 year olds now ‘live at home’.

He also wants to build more homes, outlining a plan to construct 1.5 million during the next Parliament, an ambitious target given the Tories failure to reach their own 300,000 target.

First dibs

Other initiatives announced for the housing sector, some of which are copied off the Tories, include a ‘first dibs’ policy for local people; taxing foreign property owners to fund more planning officers; and reforming the compulsory purchase rules to stop ‘speculators’ holding on to properties.

“After 14 years of Conservative government, the dream of home ownership is out of reach for too many hard working people. Despite doing everything right, they can’t move on and up. A generation face becoming renters for life,” says Starmer.

“My parents’ home gave them security and was a foundation for our family. As Prime Minister, I will turn the dream of owning a home into a reality.”

But tenant lobby group Generation Rent says these policies must also be backed up by rent controls to stop costs ‘soaring away’ for tenants, many of whom do not have any savings, “forcing a third of renters’ incomes straight into the pockets of landlords,” says Ben Twomey, its Chief Executive.

Industry reaction

Richard Donnell, Executive Director at Zoopla

Richard Donnell image“Policies to support people to buy their first home are always welcome. One of the greatest challenges facing first-time buyers is the deposit needed to fund a purchase. The use of high loan-to-value mortgages has fallen since the global financial crisis largely due to tougher mortgage regulations.

“Today, the average FTB is putting down 20% of the value of the property as a deposit. In London, this goes up to almost 33%, or £145,000. Over the last 5 years, less than 1% of mortgage lending to FTBs has been over 95% LTV with 20% of new loans between 90% and 95% LTV.

“FCA data shows that in 2022 there were 76,000 first-time buyer mortgages over 90% loan to value.”

Read more about the campaign so far.

One Comment

  1. So the general public act as guarantor for – the general public who can not afford a deposit – genuis. Putting that aside for a second with interest rates well over 5% for a fixed rate, so huge monthly cost to service a mortgage size of deposit does not help. Also the lender looks at the buyers’ income, if it is low, then amount they lend is low. Folks with no or small deposit unlikely to be on a salary in excess of £100,000, so all of this is complete non-sense like most of this pre-election rhetoric, it just shows how out of touch they all are with basic financials. Great news when they romp into victory in a month. Time to get over the housing football – fact 1.2M move into a new home a year, look at the last 15 years, it averages out at that figure. Despite 180,000 new homes being built annually, population rising by millions … still 1.2M buy a home, so why do governments even bother to pretend they can help the homeless. There are solutions folks like Rishi Rich who earnt in excess of £2m last year paying more than 20% tax, that extra tax could fund a solution, but the poor get poorer and the rich well … that one is probably on a one way ticket to Silicon Valley in the coming months.

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