3 March, 2020
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) recently published a consultation paper to consider the creation of a First Homes scheme in England aimed to deliver discounted homes to local people.
The consultation process, which closes on 3 April 2020, requests views on the design of a First Homes scheme, including how it should work in practice.
It suggests that First Homes:
Despite the scheme name, MHCLG seeks views on circumstances where Local Authorities should allow non-first-time buyers to access First Homes on the same basis as first-time buyers.
The MHCLG proposes that the discounted value should be preserved, so if buyers of First Homes decide to move, their home will be independently valued, and the discount will be passed on to the new buyer with the appropriate discount applied to the new value.
The consultation paper also considers how best to deliver the scheme and seeks views on setting developer contributions for First Homes, delivery through exception sites and Community Infrastructure Levy exemptions. The consultation also seeks views on how First Homes could work for mortgagees.
The MHCLG also announced further details of the Help to Buy scheme to run from April 2021 until March 2023. As announced in the Autumn 2018 Budget, the scheme will offer financial help to first-time buyers, for properties with a market value up to a regional property price cap.
The MHCLG announced on 24th February that developers intending to use the Help to Buy scheme will need to comply with a range of new quality measures to improve consumer experience and safety, such as:
In addition, all buyers will be entitled to view the actual home being purchased (with their own surveyor if desired) before legal completion of sale.