Prime Minister Gordon Brown today told Parliament the provision of affordable housing will be one of his top priorities.
The new Government’s proposals, normally kept secret until announced in the annual Queen’s Speech, were revealed by Brown today in a break with tradition.
The announcement means good news for prospective buyers, and untold new business for advisers and brokers.
Brown said: “To respond to the rising aspirations of the British people we must deliver new and better opportunities - in education, employment, the provision of housing and health - ensure that in a fast changing world there is opportunity and security not just for some but for all.”
The Prime Minister said he wished to make homebuilding as big a priority as it was in the decades immediately after World War II.
Brown added: “Through this decade and right up to 2020 I want us - in environmentally friendly ways using principally brownfield land and building eco towns and villages - to meet housing need by building over a quarter of a million more homes than previously planned, a total by 2020 of three million new homes for families across the country.”
Brown is also looking to shake up the mortgage market as part of his strategy to improve affordability of housing.
He says: “The Chancellor is also announcing today that he will consult on creating a new regime for 'covered bonds' which will help mortgage lenders finance more affordable 20 to 25 year fixed-rate mortgages - and he will report by the Budget on how to overcome other barriers preventing lenders from offering people long-term mortgages”.
David Bexon, managing director of SmartNewHomes.com, largely welcomed the proposals but says immediate action is needed to improve things for first time buyers.
Bexon comments: “it will be years before this has any real impact on the market. In the meantime it is essential that the Government takes immediate steps to help first time buyers by scrapping stamp duty for first home purchases, rapidly expanding shared ownership schemes and incentivising housebuilders to produce more low cost housing.”
The Conservative Party have dismissed the announcement as spin and claim that Brown made similar pledges ten years ago and has so far failed to deliver.
Leader of the Opposition, David Cameron, says: “On housing, the Prime Minister says it is difficult for people to get a foot on the housing ladder. Who does he think is responsible for that?
"It was his Government that doubled Council Tax, restricted the right-to-buy and increased stamp duty, including for first time buyers.”
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