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Government reforms for planning and Help to Buy unveiled

Housing secretary James Brokenshire has recently unveiled his plans to introduce new quality controls on housebuilders, whilst also implementing new legislation to try to prevent developers from selling houses on a leasehold basis through Help-to-Buy.

“We have long recognised that we have a responsibility to confront unfairness in the leasehold market,” commented Brokenshire. “Last year we consulted on proposals including the leasehold house ban and ground rent reduction.

“Today I can confirm we will go ahead with our original plan to reduce ground rents on future leases to zero, as opposed to a cap of £10 per year.

“And we will legislate to ensure that in the future save for the most exceptional circumstances all new house will be sold on a freehold basis. We are committed to taking bold action to reform the sector and will be pressing ahead as soon as parliamentary time allows helping us delivery our promise to make the home buying and selling process quicker, cheaper and easier.”

The housing secretary’s plans aim to help future homeowners in purchasing their first properties in a more timely and cheaper manner. These plans go hand-in-hand with the government’s pledge to deliver 300,000 new homes a year by 2020. According to the plans, if a buyer is sold a leasehold home then they will be able to get their freehold at no extra cost.

The Help-to-Buy scheme has been a flagship system that has been fundamental in first-time buyers entering the market since April 2013. From 2013 to 2018 the number of new-build property sales has increased from 61,537 to 104,245 – which can be largely apportioned to Help-to-Buy, with 38% of all new-build sales supported by the scheme.

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