North Yorkshire Mayor candidate promises ‘half-price’ homes for first-time buyers…

A candidate for the position of North Yorkshire Mayor has promised half-price homes for first-time buyers if elected.

Keane Duncan is the Conservative Party candidate for the the position of North Yorkshire Mayor and has announced plans for a new policy which he argues will get more people on the housing ladder. The plan consists of driving the construction of hundreds of new homes, before selling them at a discount of up to 50% of the market value.

Under the plans, if Mr Duncan wins the election in May, he will set up a ‘Half-Price Homes’ online portal for first-time buyers to browse and reserve the discounted homes.

He said: “Owning a home shouldn’t be an unattainable dream. But for too many people of my generation, a home of their own is unaffordable and out of reach.

“I’m committed to supporting hard-working people on to the housing ladder. That’s why ‘Half-Price Homes’ will be a key priority if I am elected mayor.

“Unlike shared ownership, buyers will own 100 per cent of the home straight away and pay no rent. What is more, the discounted homes will be the same quality and size of market homes.

“By backing people to achieve their aspiration of home ownership, this scheme will change lives. It will ensure younger people and families from our area can stay in our area, and enjoy a stake in York & North Yorkshire’s prosperity.”

According to Mr Duncan, the plan represents an expansion of the nation ‘First Homes’ scheme, in which homes are discounted by at least 30% and up to 50% of the market value. This discount would then apply in perpetuity meaning other first-time buyers in the future will still benefit when the property is sold again.

Keane Duncan added: “Too few discounted homes are built right now in York & North Yorkshire. I want to encourage and incentivise developers to choose to offer more ‘Half-Price Homes’ as part of their affordable housing obligations.

“And I’ll lead the way directly, using mayoral powers and funds to build more of these homes on brownfield sites. Availability is one problem. It is also difficult to find where discounted homes are on the market.

“So I will also launch a new ‘Half-Price Homes’ online portal where first-time buyers can register their interest and browse the discounted homes that are available.”

If the scheme is put in place, then the first sale of the house must be at a price no higher than £250,000 after the discount is applied. It will be open to first-time buyers with a household income not higher than £80,000.

Under the scheme people with local connections, lower incomes or jobs in “key sectors” can be prioritised. The homes will also be classed as affordable housing and will be funded by developer contributions.