This is the time of year when many of us set ourselves goals and one of those for many is to buy their first home. Unfortunately, it has become much harder for young people to achieve this goal. This is why I am pleased that the Government has decided to tackle this significant issue.
The Government has introduced multiple schemes to make buying a first home easier. In the autumn budget, stamp duty was abolished for all first-time buyer purchases up to £300,000. Relief will also be available on the first £300,000 of the purchase price of properties up to £500,000.
We will also continue to fund the building of new homes. £9 billion is being invested in the Affordable Homes Programme 2016-2021 which will ensure that many new and accessible homes are built by March 2021. This will include social rent homes. In addition, over £1.2 billion is being invested in building starter homes on brownfield sites for first time buyers between the ages of 23 and 40, with a discount of at least 20 per cent below market value.
The Rent to Buy scheme will also be an asset to many individuals. Newly built homes will be rented out for around 20 per cent less that the typical open market rent values, allowing individuals to save money for a future deposit on the home. In addition, they will be given the opportunity to buy an option in the new home.
Within the last few weeks, we have banned builders selling new homes on a lease-hold basis. This will stop new home owners facing the possibility of being charged ground rent.
The Help to Buy scheme will also continue. To this date, this has helped over 275,000 first time buyers to get on the housing ladder.
I am glad the Government has listened to the electorate and is working very hard to make a dream into reality.