Government’s Starter Homes initiative

Industry News,New Homes

Government’s Starter Homes initiative

by on Thursday 18 December, 2014 in Industry News,New Homes

On 15 December 2014, the Prime Minister announced a new scheme offering 100,000 first-time buyers under 40 the chance to buy new homes with a 20% discount.

Aspiring home owners have been asked to register their interest in buying via the Starter Home initiative from the start of next year and several house builders and councils are already looking at sites that could be used for new homes.

The scheme is based on a proposed change to the planning system to free-up under-used or unviable brownfield land from planning costs and levies in return for a below market value sale price on the homes built on the site.

The measures announced include:

Planning changes
At the heart of the Starter Homes initiative is a change to the planning system. This will allow house builders to develop under-used or unviable brownfield land and free them from planning costs and levies. In return, they will be able to offer homes at a minimum 20% discount exclusively to first time buyers, under the age of 40.

Currently, builders can face an average bill of £15,000 per home in Section 106 affordable housing contributions and tariffs, often adding tens of thousands to the cost of a site. Under the proposals, developers offering Starter Homes would be exempt from those Section 106 charges and Community Infrastructure Levy charges. The homes could then not be re-sold at market value for a fixed period – making sure that the savings are passed onto homebuyers.

Leading house builders and councils are already on board
More than 30 house builders have said that that they support the plans and would consider bringing forward land to develop the new, discounted houses, from next year.

High quality design
A new design panel, including world famous architects such as Sir Terry Farrell and Sir Quinlan Terry will be established to ensure that new homes are not only lower cost but also high quality and well-designed.

Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the Home Builders Federation said:

“Increasing housing supply is a huge and complex challenge and significant barriers remain. Bringing forward more land for house building, while also enabling more first time buyers to realise their ambition of home ownership would be another positive step on the way to tackling the housing shortage. The industry is keen to work with government to develop policies that would allow for more high quality homes to be built in the right places.”


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