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David Cameron To Launch Home Discount Scheme

A scheme offering 100,000 first-time buyers new homes with a discount of 20% as part of a drive to help people onto the property ladder will be launched by David Cameron later.

House prices pick up

Those under 40 who have never owned their own home can register their interest in buying via the Starter Home Initiative from the start of 2015 – six months earlier than planned.

Because of a change to the planning system set to come into force, under-used or unviable brownfield land will be freed from certain costs in return for a below market value sale price on properties constructed on the site.

Developers and councils are being urged to ensure the changes unlock a variety of sites across the country.

Mr Cameron said: “Hard-working young people want to plan for the future and enjoy the security of being able to own their own home. I want to help them do just that.

“Under this scheme, first-time buyers will be offered the chance of a 20% discount, unlocking home ownership for a generation.

“This is all part of our long-term economic plan to secure a better future for Britain, making sure we are backing those who work hard and get on in life.”

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “The 2008 housing crash blocked millions of hard-working, creditworthy people from becoming home-owners, at a time in their lives when they should have been able to expect to get on the property ladder.

“We’re turning that around with Help to Buy, but today’s new Starter Homes scheme will offer a further boost, giving young people (under 40) the opportunity to buy low-cost, high-quality new homes for significantly less than they would normally expect.”

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said the initiative is “another positive step” in tackling the shortage of housing.

At the moment, developers can face an average bill of £15,000 per home in Section 106 affordable housing contributions and tariffs.

But under the scheme, developers offering Starter Homes would not have to pay certain charges.

To ensure the savings are passed onto buyers, the homes will not be able to be re-sold at market value for a fixed period.

More than 30 house builders have already backed the plans, and say they would consider bringing forward land to be developed from next year.

A design panel will be set up to ensure the homes are not only cheap, but also high-quality.

Renowned architect Sir Terry Farrell, who is on the panel, said it could make a real difference.

He added it would build on the recommendations of the Farrell Review, which raised the need for more proactive planning.

Sir Terry said: “Only by planning and designing our villages, towns and cities together with local communities can we create the kind of built environment we all aspire to and should be demanding.”

Shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds said no-one would believe the PM’s promises on the issue, and added: “The only way to restore the dream of home ownership is to build more homes and Labour has a plan to get at least 200,000 homes built a year by 2020.

“We are in favour of building starter homes but it is not clear how the Government is going to deliver these homes 20% cheaper than market price.”

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