First Homes: what is government 30% off scheme for first time buyers, when does it launch and who is eligible?

Ministers want to help first-time buyers onto the property ladder by offering at least 10,000 discounted houses a year

Young people and key workers looking to make their first steps on to the property ladder are being given a boost in a new government initiative.

The First Homes project has been launched to assist first-time buyers own their own homes by offering discounted houses in the local area.

Sign up to our Money Savers newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The scheme will give first time buyers and key workers like NHS staff and veterans a discount of up to 30% compared to the market price at that time.

Young people and key workers looking to make their first steps on to the property ladder are being given a boost in a new government initiative. (Pic: Shutterstock)

Read More

Read More
Self employed workers ‘squeezed out’ of housing market as mortgage lenders rejec...

Here's all you need to know about the First Homes scheme - from when it will launch to how to apply.

What is the government's First Homes scheme?

The government wants to support a younger generation of homeowners onto the property ladder by offering at least 10,000 discounted houses a year to first-time buyers.

The 30% discount will be passed on with the sale of the property to future first-time buyers, meaning a percentage of homes in an area will be sold below market value for generations.

Councils will be able to prioritise front-line employees, such as NHS staff who have supported their communities through the Covid pandemic, as well as other key workers get on the property ladder.

Each local authority will set out its own criteria for applicants to meet in order to determine who should be prioritised at the top of the list for the scheme.

Why has the government brought in the First Homes scheme?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made an ambitious pledge for his administration to build one million new affordable homes during this parliament.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: "Enabling more people to buy their own homes is at the heart of the mission of this government, and First Homes will offer a realistic and affordable route into home ownership for even more people who want to own their own home.

"Thanks to First Homes, we will offer more homes to local people and families, providing a route for first-time buyers to stay in their local areas rather than being forced out due to rising prices.

"First Homes will also support our fantastic key workers who are looking to get their first foot on the housing ladder – from front-line doctors and nurses to delivery drivers and supermarket staff – by giving many of them the chance to buy a home at a 30% discount.

"These homes will be locked in for perpetuity to first-time buyers and key workers from their local area – making them an asset to both their owners and the wider local community."

When does the First Homes scheme launch?

The first phase of the project has been launched in Bolsover, Derbyshire, with First Homes properties on the market for first-time buyers to make an application for.

Further sites are set to be launched across England in the coming weeks with the aim of making a further 1,500 homes available under the scheme from autumn 2021.

David Postings, CEO of UK Finance, said: "Key workers have kept the country running during the pandemic and we are committed to doing what we can to help them, and other local first-time buyers across England, to realise their dreams of owning their own homes.

"Our commitment is shared across all necessary stakeholders, as underscored by the high level of co-operation between lenders, government, local authorities and developers in helping drive the First Homes scheme forward."

Who is eligible for the First Homes scheme?

To support the rollout of the project, major high-street lenders Halifax and Nationwide Building Society, along with local building societies and community lenders, will offer high loan-to-value mortgages against First Homes.

Robin Fieth, Chief Executive of the Building Societies Association, said: "Building societies have always been dedicated to bringing home ownership within reach for as many people as possible, which is why we are working with the sector to help bring forward mortgages for First Homes as soon as possible.

"Building societies, both large and small, are pleased to be among the first lenders to offer mortgages in support of this new product."