Surveys and research consistently show that most people want to own their own home. But with house prices rising rapidly in the 10 years from 1997, many potential home buyers have not been able to afford it.
Many people have also found it even harder recently to pay the high deposits needed for a mortgage.
Help to Buy
We’ve introduced schemes that provide financial help to home buyers who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to buy a home.
Right to Buy
We’re encouraging more tenants to exercise their Right to Buy their council house by increasing the maximum discount that buyers can get off the market value of their home to £75,000 outside London, and £100,000 in London.
Buying a new-build home
We provide a range of measures to help homeowners in financial difficulty.
Giving people the Right to Buy
Councils have always been able to sell houses to their tenants, but the Housing Act 1980 extended the practice to all social tenants with secure tenancies, giving them the legal right to buy their home, rather than it being at the landlord’s discretion.
The Housing Act 1980 also introduced a discount for buyers so that they could buy their council or housing association home at a lower price than the market price.
The last 30 years have seen significant changes to social tenants’ right to buy their properties, including big reductions to the discounts available. Currently, fewer than 3,000 homes are sold each year in England, compared with more than 60,000 in the financial year 2002 to 2003.
Leasehold is a long-established way of owning property in England and Wales based on an agreement between the freeholder and leaseholder (sometimes also referred to as landlord and tenant). There are (by industry estimates) around 1 million houses and 2 million flats held on long leases in England – ‘long’ meaning more than 21 years’ duration when granted. Around 40% of recent new-build properties in England are leasehold.
The law about leasehold tenure is complex. The aim of the law about leasehold tenure is to protect both leaseholders and freeholders.
Who we’ve consulted
The consultation resulted in the discount for Right to Buy being increased to a maximum of £75,000 when the tenant has lived in an eligible property for 5 or more years. Money from additional sales will be used to fund the building of new affordable homes. Nearly all councils have now signed an agreement with the government that each additional home sold nationally under Right to Buy will be replaced by a new affordable home to rent.