First-time buyers will get a third off the cost of a home under new government plan


First-time buyers will be able to get a third off the cost of a home under a ‘life-changing’ government proposal.

They could potentially save £100,000 on the purchase with key workers such as nurses and police prioritised.

Military veterans would also jump the queue for the tens of thousands of cut-price homes.

Ministers say the proposed 30 per cent off would be paid for through contributions from housing developers.

And the discount would be passed on when the property is sold so the new local buyer will also benefit.

It has not yet been decided how ‘local’ a person must be to qualify for it.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said it would be ‘genuinely life-changing’ for people all over the country. He added: ‘I know that many who are seeking to buy their own home in their local areas have been forced out due to rising prices.

‘A proportion of new homes will be made available at a 30 per cent market discount rate – turning the dial on the dream of home ownership.

‘The discount will be passed on with the sale of the property to future first-time buyers, helping thousands more people in years to come and ensuring local communities can stick together.’

The average price of a newly built property in England is £314,000.

Under the First Homes scheme, a house sold with 30 per cent off at this price would deliver a saving of around £94,000. The Government said the average newly-built home in Cornwall, for example, costs £246,000 – meaning a 30 per cent discount delivers a saving of more than £73,000.

The proposed scheme is now out for consultation, meaning there are few details on how it will work. Councils will apply a ‘local connection’ test to define how nearby to the new home you have to live.

They may decide it refers to a local authority area, or to a particular small village.

The 30 per cent discount will only be applied after an independent surveyor has ruled on the property’s market value.

The Government said the reduction will apply to ‘a proportion’ of new homes, and the consultation will look at how this will be delivered.

While there will be an upper limit on the price of a house a person can get a discount on, this has not yet been decided.

Military veterans will be prioritised as part of the Armed Forces Covenant.

And councils will also be able to use the scheme for frontline workers such as police, firefighters, nurses, prison officers and teachers.

Ministers also committed to delivering more than one million new homes over the next five years to further improve housing affordability.

They envisage tens of thousands of First Homes being built, with measures also to help release more land.

Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, said: ‘We know first-time buyers will welcome the opportunity to buy a good quality home at a discount in their local area.

‘We look forward to contributing to the consultation and working with the Government.

‘This will ensure that the scheme does what it says on the tin – delivering more high quality and affordable local homes for current and future first-time buyers.’


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