From today, first-time house-buyers under the age of 40 can register for a 20 per cent discount on certain properties in England.
The offer is taking place under a new government scheme called “starter homes”, which aims to make more affordable housing for young people on disused brownfield sites.
“With average house prices for first time buyers in England standing at around £218,000, a new Starter Home could save young first time buyers across the country an average of £43,000-helping to get them onto the housing ladder”, the government said in statement released this morning.
The aim is to build 20,000 of the new homes each year for the next five years, with construction due to begin in the next few months. However, if anyone sells the home within five years they will have to pay back the discount.
The government is able to offer the homes at the reduced price because construction companies are not required to pay local authority fees on brownfield sites. These fees usually amount to at least £45,000 per home.
At the moment, house construction in the UK is not taking place quickly enough to meet demand. Last year, business secretary Vince Cable admitted that 300,000 homes were needed each year but that only 130,000 were actually being built.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
We want to help people who work hard and want to get on in life but have been priced out of the housing market. A 20 per cent discount off the price could be a real game-changer for many aspiring home-owners. My message is clear: we are on your side and we will help you fulfil your dream of buying your first home.