Government to help capital's first time buyers
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, today announced London developers have secured £20 million from the Government's FirstBuy scheme to help Londoners get a foot on the property ladder.
The news comes as the Mayor, who has negotiated closely with the Government in recent months, revealed that thousands of Londoners have logged on to his new housing website ‘First Steps’. The site has attracted 80,000 unique visitors and seen more than two million hits since its launch in April.
As Londoners struggle to raise deposits to secure mortgages, the FirstBuy scheme, will offer low cost loans of up to 20 per cent of the property price towards the applicant's deposit.
The loan for people earning under £60,000 will be funded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and property developers who will be repaid once a property is resold. This offer will be available on nearly 1,000 new build homes across London. Responsibility for the FirstBuy scheme in London will transfer to the Mayor as part of the Government’s devolutions settlement.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
"Getting on the housing ladder can be extremely tough for Londoners and so it is great news that the capital's property developers have secured this slice of the FirstBuy cake. Whilst we are well on track to deliver 50,000 affordable homes in London by next year, we must keep maximising every opportunity for Londoners to rent or buy in this great, but expensive city.
“The rate at which Londoners have logged on to the First Steps website is just fantastic and I'd encourage anyone in the capital who wants to get their foot on the property ladder to check it out.”
The website, part of the Mayor’s First Steps Programme, contains information about new homes across London, as well as an ‘affordability calculator’ to help prospective tenants or buyers work out exactly how much it will cost them to rent or buy a new home.
In another important step towards relieving pressure on the capital's housing market, the Mayor also recently revealed he is over three quarters of the way towards his target to deliver 50,000 affordable homes for Londoners by 2012.
FirstBuy is a new product in the Government’s HomeBuy range designed to assist first time buyers into home ownership. It is expected to assist over 10,000 purchasers to buy a new home over the next two years.
FirstBuy support is offered through equity loan funding of up to 20% of the purchase price split equally between the Agency and a housebuilder, with purchasers being required to raise funding (a mortgage plus deposit) of at least 80% of the purchase price.
FirstBuy will be delivered by the HCA, working with housebuilders, as part of the national Affordable Homes Programme. It is envisaged that the first contracts with housebuilders by summer 2011 and expect first homes available for purchase shortly afterwards.
June 20, 2011