PM promises to turn ‘generation rent into generation buy’ with new mortgages

New build homes
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15:41pm, Tue 06 Oct 2020
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Boris Johnson has pledged to turn “generation rent into generation buy” with long-term, fixed-rate mortgages of up to 95% of the value of a home for first-time buyers.

The Prime Minister, in a speech to the Conservative Party’s online conference, said he wanted to “fix our broken housing market” and help young people onto the housing ladder.

He vowed to “transform the sclerotic planning system” and make it “faster and easier to build beautiful new homes without destroying the green belt or desecrating our countryside”.

But Mr Johnson said: “These reforms will take time and they are not enough on their own.

We believe that this policy could create two million more owner-occupiers - the biggest expansion of home ownership since the 1980s

“We need now to take forward one of the key proposals of our manifesto of 2019: giving young, first-time buyers the chance to take out a long-term, fixed-rate mortgage of up to 95% of the value of the home – vastly reducing the size of the deposit.

“And giving the chance of home ownership, and all the joy and the pride that goes with it, to millions who currently feel excluded.

“We believe that this policy could create two million more owner-occupiers, the biggest expansion of home ownership since the 1980s.

“We will help turn generation rent into generation buy.”

A Number 10 spokesman was unable to provide further details on the mortgage policy.

The 2019 Conservative Party manifesto pledged to “encourage a new market in long-term fixed rate mortgages which slash the cost of deposits, opening up a secure path to home ownership for first-time buyers in all parts of the United Kingdom”.

Shadow housing secretary Thangam Debbonaire said: “The Tories have failed over 10 years to increase home ownership.

“Measures to stimulate the housing market won’t work as long as people don’t have jobs to go to and incomes to spend.

“Young people have been hit particularly hard by Britain’s jobs crisis, so if the Government wants to help them get on the housing ladder it must get a grip on it.”

Chris Norris, policy director for the National Residential Landlords Association, criticised the Prime Minister’s language and said landlords should be encouraged to sell properties to first-time buyers.

He said: “Whilst we believe that those who want to should have the opportunity to buy a home of their own, the Prime Minister is wrong to imply that renters cannot turn the properties they live in into a home of their own.

“Indeed, landlords much prefer to have tenants settled long term in a home they feel comfortable in and want to look after.

“If the Government really wants to support homeownership, it should consider changes to the tax system to support and encourage landlords considering leaving the market to sell to first-time buyers.

“Reports that ministers are considering an increase in capital gains tax would serve only to incentivise landlords to hold on to properties longer than they might otherwise have done.”

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