First-time buyer scheme offering 20% discounts goes live

A scheme for first-time buyers under the age of 40 in England to buy a new home at a 20% discount went live at the weekend.

FTBs can now apply through an online register for the Starter Homes scheme.

Under the initiative, announced in December, 100,000 new houses will be built specifically for first-time buyers on brownfield sites by 2020.

The 20% discount has been made possible because builders taking part in the scheme have exemption from their usual financial obligations to local authorities, which cost at least £45,000 per unit.

First-time buyers will have to repay the 20% discount if they sold within five years.

Housing minister Brandon Lewis urged first-time buyers to register on the starter homes website.

He said: “We’re actually at the start of an affordable house building programme that’s the fastest build rate in about 20 years.

“And this new starter homes programme is another 100,000 homes on top of everything else that we’re doing, allowing those first-time buyers, people who want to own that home of their own, to be able to do that – a good design, well-built home, with a 20% discount.

“When you link that with Help to Buy, it opens up the ability to own a home to a whole new group of people.”