Cameron pledges boost for Starter Homes scheme

3 Apr 15

A government-backed scheme to build 100,000 new homes for first-time buyers, by exempting developers from section 106 planning agreements, has received interest from over 50,000 people.

The Starter Home programme, which was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron last December, is intended to provide homes that can be sold at 20% below market rates because builders do not have to reach planning gain deals with local authorities.

Cameron said that section 106 rules, which normally require developers to provide infrastructure and a proportion of affordable homes as a condition of planning permission, add an average of £15,000 to the cost of building a new home.

Under the exemption deal developers must extend the 20% saving to qualifying first-time buyers, with starter home costs capped at no more than £250,000 outside London – or up to £450,000 in the capital. Purchased homes will be subject to resale and letting restrictions for the first five years to discourage speculators from cashing in on the discount.

Those interested in the scheme have been able to register their interest with an online register run by the House Builders Federation since the start of March. In the first month, 52,225 people signed up, according to figures published by the Conservatives today.

Cameron said that if his party returns to power after the general election on May 7, he intends to double the target for construction to 200,000 homes.

Home ownership forms part of the Tories’ long-term economic plan, he added.

‘We believe having a home of their own gives people and families independence – it helps people stand on their own two feet; and it’s one of the ultimate symbols of a country where if you work hard, you can get on,’ Cameron said. ‘Starter homes is a landmark new policy. We’re going to build 200,000 new homes, 20% cheaper than normal. But the really exciting part is this – they will be reserved just for first-time buyers under the age of 40.’

Did you enjoy this article?