The government has announced that construction of the first wave of Starter Homes will begin this year in 30 local authority areas, which were selected based on their potential to deliver new homes in line with the government's objectives.
These areas will receive support from the £1.2bn Starter Homes Land Fund which was established in April 2016 to help with the remediation of brownfield sites in preparation for development. The government has stated that construction on the first sites will begin in the latter part of 2017 with new homes expected to reach the market by 2018.
Starter Homes will be available to first-time buyers between the ages of 23 and 40 with a minimum of 20% deducted from the market price. Under the scheme, house prices will be capped at £250,000 outside of London and £450,000 in the capital and purchasers will not be able resell or rent the property at open market value for five years following the initial sale.
For developers, the benefits of the Scheme include the opportunity to build on cheaper brownfield land, and exception from section 106 agreements and Community Infrastructure Levy charges so that the discount in price is made possible.
The second announcement unveiled the locations of 17 sites for new garden villages and towns. Together with the seven garden towns already announced, this has the potential to deliver 200,000 new homes.
There will be 14 new garden villages, each designed to deliver between 1,500 and 10,000 homes, which will have access to a £6m fund over the next two financial years intended to support the construction projects. Additionally, £1.4m of funding has been ring-fenced to assist the delivery of the 3 new garden towns.
The government expects more than 25,000 housing starts in garden villages and towns by 2020. Furthermore, the garden projects will have access to the £2.3bn Housing Infrastructure Fund announced by Philip Hammond in his Autumn Statement last year.
Although this government has committed to providing 200,000 new homes by 2020, there are still serious doubts on whether this goal is achievable, given the significant acceleration in the rate of house building required.
These announcements represent a step in the right direction. However, with the government's Housing White Paper due to be published this month, at this stage we can only hope that more comprehensive and particular details of the initiatives to bolster the housing supply are disclosed sooner rather than later.
Click here to view more information on Starter Home Local Authority Partnerships
Click here to view more information on the Garden Village Locations