Housing Minister Brandon Lewis welcomed this as further evidence of how action to help hard-working people get on the property ladder is working.
Taking a step onto the property ladder
Helping aspiring homeowners to buy is a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan.
Since 2010, the government has introduced a range of measures, which have helped people to buy but have also led developers to build more.
- Help to Buy – 200,000 new homes have been built since its introduction
- the reinvigorated Right to Buy scheme - over 33,000 social tenants have been helped to buy their own home through this scheme, with the potential to lever in an additional £2.4 billion investment in affordable housebuilding
- reforms to Stamp Duty, which mean the vast majority of people looking to buy have seen a reduction in their bill
The government has also tackled the deficit it inherited, helping to keep interest rates at their record low, with the Mortgage Advice Bureau reporting that now is the best time on record to take out a mortgage.
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said:
Getting the country building is a key part of our long-term economic plan – but if buyers can’t buy, builders can’t build.
Thanks to government-backed schemes, nearly 192,000 people have bought or reserved a new home, and thanks to our efforts to keep interest rates at their record low we’ve helped keep mortgages more affordable.
And our new Starter Homes scheme will deliver up to 100,000 new homes for first-time buyers, at 20% off the market price.
Improving the quality of England’s homes
Latest figures also show that the quality of homes in England continue to improve.
The latest English Housing Survey shows that 4 in 5 properties meet the Decent Homes standard. This means that since 2006 there are 2.9 million fewer non-decent homes.
The number of homes reaching the highest energy efficiency ratings has also risen, from 2% in 1996 to nearly a quarter in 2013.
The English Housing Survey is published today (25 February 2015).