Uncertainty lingers behind the big promises of First Homes

Jonathan Seager

The discounted first time buyer scheme could have unintended consequences for the rental sector

You would have been forgiven for missing the publication of the government’s response to its First Homes consultation. Released at the same time as the planning white paper, the detail about how First Homes will work was never going to grab the headlines, but it could have a big impact on housebuilding long before the sunlit uplands of a new planning system, as envisaged by the white paper, are upon us.

First Homes is a new for-sale affordable housing product prioritised for local first-time buyers. The government has now confirmed First Homes will be sold at a discount of at least 30% below market value subject to two regional price caps. These are £420,000 in London and £250,000 in the rest of England after the discount has been applied to all initial sales, and subject to household eligibility incomes caps of £90,000 in London and £80,000 across the rest of England.

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