The Government has trumpeted the beginning of its Starter Home scheme for first-time buyers, with building to start in 30 local authorities this year.
A key manifesto pledge in 2015, the scheme will make properties on brownfield sites available to first-time buyers between 23 and 40 years old at a 20% discount to market value.
If this all seems pretty familiar, that is because it is.
As Henry Pryor pointed out on Twitter, the scheme was first announced in September 2014 and then re-announced in December 2014 and again in February 2015 before then Prime Minister David Cameron said the first 50,000 reservations had been made in April 2015. Things then went a bit quiet after April 2016 when the House of Lords questioned the scheme.
Mark Hayward, managing director, of the NAEA, said of the latest announcement that he would not be holding his breath: “As always we need to see these plans put into swift action.
“The dream of home ownership is too far out of reach for thousands of aspiring first-time buyers, and the building of new homes on disused brownfield sites, as well as a 20% discount for buyers aged 23-40, will go some way to bridging this gap.
“The Government has made promise after promise and pledge after pledge to help first-time buyers get on to the housing ladder, but until we see these houses built we won’t hold our breath.”
In some slightly newer news, the Homes and Communities Agency has also issued a call seeking expressions of interest from local authorities who are interested in using their land to build homes through the £1.7bn fund announced in the Autumn Statement for 150,000 properties.