Scheme extended to help first-time buyers
First-time buyers have received a further boost after the Government pledged to help an additional 16,500 onto the housing ladder. David Cameron announced an extension of the FirstBuy scheme last week.
And new legislation will provide Government guarantees of up to £40billion of major infrastructure projects and up to £10billion of new homes, including a move to guarantee the debt of housing associations and private sector developers.
Malcolm Pink, South West region managing director for Bovis Homes, which has headquarters in the county, said: "Any initiatives that help Gloucestershire first-time buyers get onto the property ladder and help open up the market are to be welcomed.
"Our current FirstBuy allocation has been snapped up as people look to escape rising rents and although we now have to wait and see how this funding is allocated on the ground, I expect it to be popular again at our developments as the home-buying season gets into full swing.
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"And of course it's not just home-buyers who will benefit from the Government supporting the housing industry. It gives the local economy a real lift and means new jobs throughout the supply chain, opportunities for young people to learn a trade and a boost for local businesses."
Under FirstBuy, potential home-owners without a deposit are given an equity loan of up to 20 per cent of the purchase price. Taylor Wimpey has seen a quarter of this year's sales go through due to the scheme.
Richard Goad, of Taylor Wimpey, which has new homes in the county, said: "It is welcome news, particularly the extension to the FirstBuy scheme.
"FirstBuy enables us to work closely with the Government to help more people in the region buy their first home."
Ministers have also decided that developers will no longer have to wait five years to apply to change affordable housing requirements if they are making sites "commercially unviable".
Mr Cameron said he would get the planning system "off people's backs" and revive the economy by easing restrictions for homes and businesses.
Tens of thousands of families will be allowed to extend their properties by up to eight metres without gaining full permission, he said.
He added the package of measures would mean an extra 70,000 houses and 140,000 jobs. Treasury funding of £300 million has been found to help provide up to 15,000 affordable homes and bring 5,000 empty homes back into use, Downing Street said.
â To read more reaction from developers in Gloucestershire and how the Government's announcements affect their building plans in the county, as well as new homes on offer, turn to page