Newly enacted legislation should provide an easier route to home buying for first time buyers reports planning specialist Stephen Baimbridge of Greenslade Taylor Hunt.

First Homes are a specific kind of discounted housing scheme and should be considered to meet the definition of ‘affordable housing’ for planning purposes.

“First Homes are the Government’s preferred discounted market tenure and should account for at least 25% of all affordable housing units delivered by developers through planning obligations,” said Mr Baimbridge.

In order to qualify under the First Homes banner properties must be discounted by a minimum of 30% against market value. This can be as much as 40% or 50% in specific cases.

The scheme is aimed solely at first time buyers. These purchasers should have a combined annual household income not exceeding £80,000 (or £90,000 in Greater London) in the tax year immediately prior to the year of purchase.

To qualify a purchaser of a First Home should have a mortgage plan to fund a minimum of 50% of the discounted purchase price.

After the discount has been applied the first sale must be at a price no higher than £250,000 (or £420,000 in Greater London).

These national standard criteria should also apply at all future sales of a First Home. Restrictions will be registered with the Land Registry to ensure the discount is passed on to all future buyers – as a percentage of the current market value.

The development land and planning team at Greenslade Taylor Hunt can offer advice and expert assistance to developers and landowners looking to construct all types of open market and affordable housing schemes.

For more information please call 01823 334466.