Starter Homes Initiative
In March 2015, the government launched the Starter Homes Initiative to help first-time buyers get onto the housing ladder.
This new initiative was originally focused on developing Starter Homes on sites which were underused or undeveloped.
Although some house builders such as Larkfleet Homes could see the potential of such sites, the reaction from many councils was lukewarm resulting in only a small number of schemes being brought forward to date.
In May 2016, the Housing and Planning Act 2016 gave the Starter Homes Initiative a significant boost with a general duty on all councils to facilitate the building of Starter Homes.
It provides a legal definition for Starter Homes and requires most housing developments to provide some Starter Homes. This has been called The Starter Home Requirement. It also allows the government to issue detailed rules to facilitate the provision of Starter Homes in line with its objective of building 200,000 such homes by 2020.
The initiative allows first-time buyers under the age of 40 to purchase a home with a minimum 20% discount off the market value up to a maximum of £250,000 outside London.
Who is eligible?
If you are a first-time buyer and between the ages of 23 and 40 you can apply for a Starter Home.
When will Starter Homes be on the market?
Following the Housing and Planning Act receiving Royal Assent in May 2016, local planning authorities now have a duty to enable the provision of Starter Homes in their area. This means ensuring that their own plans and policies are changed to encourage the development of such homes as well as being as helpful as possible when developers submit planning applications that include Starter Homes.
However, further government regulations are required before Starter Homes will really take off and these are expected during early 2017.
Larkfleet Homes is currently in discussions with several councils to identify appropriate sites for the provision of Starter Homes.
Where will Starter Homes be built?
Starter Homes will be developed in England only.
Larkfleet proposes to develop Starter Homes on as many of our sites as possible.
Larkfleet is also actively looking for sites in our main operating areas which include Lincolnshire, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire and Rutland as well as areas in Norfolk, Suffolk, Northamptonshire and the South West of England.
How do I find a Starter Home?
You can start your search for a Starter Home by registering your details here.
Why do you need to register?
It is very important to register an interest in Starter Homes as this will demonstrate to the council covering the area where you want to buy one that there is a need for such housing in its area. This is especially true in rural areas where Starter Homes may only be permitted where there is an identified need.
If you think your village or town requires such homes, please tell others who may be interested why it is important to register.
As well as this website, there is a national website - www.new-homes.co.uk - where you can register on the national database.
We suggest you register on both.
How much will a Starter Home cost?
Starter Homes will be sold at 80% of the market value of the home.
The value of new homes will be set by independent valuers in the local market.
The discounted price will be no more than £250,000 outside London.
In many parts of the operating range of Larkfleet Homes this could easily buy a four-bedroom detached home. A typical two-bedroom property would cost around £130,000 after the discount has been applied.
How is the 20 per cent discount funded?
The discount is primarily funded by the developer. However, the government has suggested to councils that they should not seek some money from Starter Home developments that developers normally have to pay when building new houses.
Local councils will still be able to seek other money from developers including cash to help pay for any necessary infrastructure.
How long do I have to live in a Starter Home?
The owners of Starter Homes will be able to sell them straight away like any normal private house. However, any owner who wishes to sell during the first five years after buying the home will have to sell to a first-time buyer and offer the same discount.
The full details of how this will work will be known once the new regulations are published.
When will the Starter Homes initiative end?
No end date to the initiative has been set.