Looking forward to 2015, a new scheme, the starter home initiative, has been launched that will offer a 20% discount to an estimated 100,000 first time buyers of newly built homes.

The proposal is that developers will be able to develop under-used or unviable brownfield land free from the costs of section 106 affordable housing contributions and Community Infrastructure Levy charges. In return, developers will offer homes at a minimum of 20% discount exclusively to first time buyers under the age of forty.The homes will not be eligible for resale at market value for a fixed period of time.

The initiative is accompanied by a Consultation Paper, Stepping onto the Property Ladder.The consultation invites comments on the government’s proposals regarding:

  • The planning policy need to enable starter homes to be built on brownfield sites

  • The planning obligations or conditions needed to ensure that newly built starter homes are only available to first time, occupying buyers under the age of 40 and are sold at 20% discount to market value

  • Removing obligations on developers to fund section 106 affordable housing contributions and exempt the Community Infrastructure Levy on starter homes

  • Developing a register of first time buyers’ interest in starter homes

The consultation closes on 8th February 2015.

Taken together with the recent Stamp Duty Land Tax changes announced in the Autumn Statement, this may fuel a boom in the new build residential sector in the foreseeable future.