The homes will be sold to first-time buyers at a discount of at least 20% below their market value.

What’s the latest?

Construction will start this year on the first wave of discounted homes aimed at young people trying to get on to the property ladder.

The Government has given the green light for thousands of Starter Homes, which will be sold to first-time buyers with 20% knocked off the asking price. They should be on the market by 2018.

The properties will be built on brownfield sites across England in partnership with 30 local authorities, with the Government setting aside £1.2bn to support the scheme.

In a further boost for those hoping to get on to the property ladder, the Government has also approved 14 new ‘garden villages’ that could lead to more than 48,000 new homes being built across England.

Garden villages are small self-contained communities with between 1,500 and 10,000 properties. They have their own facilities, and are built in new areas, rather than existing urban ones.

Why is this happening?

The two announcements are part of the Government’s push to build more homes in the UK and help first-time buyers get on to the property ladder.

The country needs to build around 100,000 more properties each year just to keep pace with demand.

The current shortage of homes is one of the key factors that is pushing up house prices and making it increasingly difficult for people to buy their first home or trade up the property ladder.

A new-build home in Colindale.

Above: two-bedroom flat in Colindale, north west London.

Who does it affect?

First-time buyers are the key beneficiaries of the Starter Homes scheme, as only those aged between 23 and 40 who do not own a property will be eligible for it.

Here is the list of councils that are offering the first Starter Homes:

  • Blackburn with Darwen Council
  • Blackpool Council
  • Bristol City Council
  • Central Bedfordshire Council
  • Cheshire West and Chester Council
  • Chesterfield Borough Council
  • Chichester District Council
  • City of Lincoln
  • Ebbsfleet Development Corporation
  • Fareham Borough Council
  • Gloucester City Council
  • Greater Manchester Combined Authority (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan)
  • Lincolnshire County Council
  • Liverpool City Council (in association with Sefton, Knowsley, Halton, Wirral, St Helens)
  • Luton Borough Council
  • Mid Sussex District Council
  • Middlesbrough Council
  • North Somerset Council
  • Northumberland County Council
  • Pendle Borough Council
  • Plymouth City Council
  • Rotherham Metropolitan Council
  • Rushmoor Borough Council
  • Sheffield City Council
  • South Kestevan District Council
  • South Ribble Borough Council (in association with Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council)
  • South Somerset District Council
  • Stoke-on-Trent City Council
  • West Somerset Council (in association with Taunton Deane Borough Council, Sedgemoor District Council)
  • Worthing Council

But the approval of 14 new garden villages and a further three garden towns should have a wider impact on people wanting to buy a new home.

The Government estimates that the 17 new garden settlements, combined with the seven existing ones, could provide almost 200,000 new-build homes.

It also emphasises that these properties will be in communities with the facilities that families need, while they will also help to create new jobs in their local area.

Sounds interesting. What’s the background?

The Government is committed to boosting the number of homes that are built in the UK each year in a bid to meet demand.

In his first (and last) Autumn Statement, Chancellor, Philip Hammond announced a new £2.3bn Housing Infrastructure Fund to support up to 100,000 new-build homes in areas of high demand.

The Government has also introduced measures to speed up the planning permission process.

Its efforts appear to be paying off, with the Home Builders Federation saying permission had been given for nearly 290,000 new homes to be built in the year to the end of September, the highest level since it began collecting figures in 2006.

But it added that the actual number of sites these homes were on had fallen, as local authorities granted permission on large strategic sites, rather than a mix of smaller ones.

There has also been a shift in the types of home being built, with developers building more spacious family homes and fewer flats in line with demand.

Top 3 takeaways

  • The Government has given the green light for thousands of discounted first-time buyer homes to be built.
  • The Starter Homes will be sold to first-time buyers aged between 23 and 40 at a discount of at least 20% below their market value.
  • It has also approved 14 new ‘garden villages’ that could lead to more than 48,000 new homes being built across England.

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