Despite having no dedicated housing debate at this week’s Conservative party conference, prime minister David Cameron has pledged to offer homes to first time buyers at 20% below market rate if he is re-elected next May. Being referred to by many Conservatives as ‘permanent Help to Buy’, the aim of the pledge is to help the UK’s under 40’s on to the housing ladder with 100,000 new homes to be built on brownfield land already identified for development.
Speaking on the eve of the party conference in Birmingham, Cameron said: “I want young people who work hard, who do the right thing, to be able to buy a home of their own. So these starter homes will be sold at 20% less than the market value.”
Mr Cameron said that the homes will be exclusively for British citizens and cannot be purchased by buy-to-let landlords or flipped round in a quick sale.
“They can only be bought by hardworking people under the age of 40,” he stressed.
The proposal has been met with wide scale approval by the housebuilding industry.
Stephen Stone, ceo of Crest Nicholson, said: “Although much of the detail still needs to be ironed out, [the] announcement from the prime minister is excellent news.
“Importantly, the announcement also has a wider benefit to the economy. In delivering a target of 100,000 new homes approximately 300,000 new jobs will be created,” he added.
The Home Builders Federation said that the scheme ‘ticks a number of important boxes’, including helping first-time buyers by improving the affordability of new homes built under the initiative.
Speaking on Monday at the Party Conference chancellor George Osborne confirmed that if re-elected, the conservative government would continue to tackle the housing shortage and ‘support the next generation with starter homes in a permanent Help to Buy’.