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Prime Minister promises 200,000 starter homes

In his speech to the Conservative Party conference, David Cameron has announced plans to increase home ownership through the relaxation of planning rules.

Stating that he wants to transform “generation rent” into “generation buy”, Mr Cameron has vowed to provide 200,000 affordable new homes to buy by 2020.

While builders in England were previously forced to offer low-cost rented homes in new developments, the changes will allow them to offer discounted starter homes for the first time to buyers under the age of 40.

After the discount has been applied, the price of these properties will be capped at £250,000 outside London and £450,000 in the capital, with measures in place to prevent buyers from selling houses on for up to five years.

With high property prices and mortgage deposits causing a significant reduction in home ownership in recent years, the Prime Minister has admitted that more needs to be done to help young people get on the property ladder: “For years politicians have talked about building ‘affordable homes’ – but the phrase was deceptive. It basically means homes that were only affordable to rent. What people want are homes that they can actually own.”

APHC chief executive John Thompson said: “The Prime Minister’s latest measure is likely to provide a welcome boost to the construction industry. However, with capped property prices for London coming in significantly higher than the £250,000 cost elsewhere in the country, we would advise government to concentrate the construction of new starter homes away from the capital in order to ensure the availability of truly affordable homes.”

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