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   Rent first, buy later purchase scheme for households on less than £60k    


The UK government today announced a raft of initiatives aimed at unfreezing the housing market, including plans for a 'rent first, buy later' home purchase scheme for households earning under £60,000.

Under the pilot scheme, eligible buyers will to able to rent a new home at a discounted rate - no more than 80% of the market rent value- for a period of up to two to three years.

During that time the government hopes the tenants will be able to save the necessary deposit needed to purchase a share of 25% or more in that home, an offer which will be open at any time.

According to a recent surveyors' report, first time buyers now require an average deposit of more than £27,000 to buy their first home. Meanwhile, lenders yesterday warned the government that mortgage deals would continue to get more expensive unless the Bank of England worked to get financial markets moving again. 

Housing Minister Caroline Flint said the 'Rent to Home buy' pilot scheme was designed to 'give more choice and flexibility to first time buyers'.

Other initiatives announced today include:

  • Four new 'local housing companies' in Barking and Dagenham, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Manchester, that will allow councils to put forward their surplus land for joint public/ private developments that must include at least 50 per cent affordable homes.
  • Plans to build up to 75,000 homes in 20 towns and cities across England, with £100 million provided for schools, hospitals and other infrastructure facilities.  
  • Potential extra funding on top of the £200 million already allocated to councils to buy unsold stock from house builders for affordable homes.

However, a spokesman for the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors warned the scheme would have little impact on households with lower quartile incomes, and urged the government to expand the scheme to include all first time buyers.

'It is time for the Government to take bold action to tackle the problems in the housing market and innovative solutions must be put in place now to help people who want to buy a home but cannot get a mortgage,' he said.

Flint said: 'The package being announced today will both help people facing difficulties right now, and lay the foundations to help meet the long term housing needs of the country. That means being ambitious, but also practical and realistic, acknowledging not only the difficulties faced by individuals and families, but for those who work in the house building industry.'   

Other Government schemes for first time home buyers are now available.

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