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Tackling the housing crisis: starter homes and garden villages

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The government has launched new schemes aimed at tackling the current housing crisis.

Read on for some highlights.

Starter homes - good news for first-time buyers

Earlier this month, the government announced funding for new housing on brownfield sites. The funding will come from the "Starter Home Land Fund" (the Fund) and is intended to give first-time buyers a discount on the purchase of their first home and get started on the property ladder. The Fund, first announced back in 2014, is a sign of the government's commitment to building "starter homes "and is good news for first-time buyers. 

Here are the key elements of the scheme:

  • 30 local authorities who the government has selected on the basis of their potential for early delivery – will work in Starter Home Land Fund partnerships with the Homes and Communities Agency to identify and take forward further land opportunities in their respective areas. Greater Manchester Combined Authority (comprising Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan) is one of the 30.
  • Starter homes will be built on brownfield sites and made available from 2018 to first-time buyers only.
  • These houses will be sold to first-time buyers at a discount of at least 20% below market value.
  • There is an age limit - only those first-time buyers between the ages of 23 and 40 can take advantage of the scheme.
  • The scheme will be available on houses outside London worth over £250,000, and on houses in London worth over £450,000 - in each case calculated after the discount has been taken into account.

14 sites for new “Garden Villages”

The government has also named the first 14 new "Garden Villages" as part of its commitment to improve housing availability and end the current housing crisis. In the delivery of these new projects, the 14 villages will have access to a £6 million fund over the next 2 financial years.

More than 48,000 houses could be built as part of this scheme. Sites identified include Cumbria, North Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancaster. The government has confirmed it may run a further call for expressions of interest in 2017 for other places with proposals for new garden villages.

Government White Paper on housing due soon

The government is due to publish its white paper on housing supply later in January. It is expected to deal with the undersupply and unaffordability of housing in the UK, the devolution of housing powers, the possible lifting of planning restrictions and, the London housing market.

How can we help?

Property development work

Our commercial property team has extensive experience of property development in the North West from the planning stage right through to practical completion, occupation and selling/leasing the property. 

Conveyancing guidance and tips for first-time buyers

If you are a first-time buyer interested in taking advantage of this scheme, we can guide you through the conveyancing process. Give us a call or make an enquiry to find out more about what’s involved. You can also:

Offer: a bonus for those instructing us

For those of you just starting on the house-hunting path, Pearson Solicitors are currently running an offer: a £50 B&Q, M&S or Next voucher for you when you instruct us and complete on the purchase of your new home. Simply quote the code FTB Pearson 2017 when you instruct us and we will send you your selected voucher on completion of your property purchase. 


For advice relating to property development, contact Michael Pitt or make an enquiry.

For conveyancing and first-time buyer advice, contact Victoria Marshall or make an enquiry today.

Further reading

Government press release: Green light for construction of thousands of new Starter Homes (3 January 2017)

Government press release: First ever garden villages named with government support (2 January 2017)

Posted: 20 January 2017

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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