Housing

Home ownership

The Government is committed to increasing housing supply and helping those who aspire to own their own home to do so.

We will make sure that the market is able to meet demand by freeing it from expensive red tape whilst helping creditworthy borrowers to buy their own home.

Background

The current level of homeownership is at 66 per cent. However, an additional 59 per cent of private renters (1.9 million households), and 23 per cent of social renters (855,000 households), said that they expected to buy a property at some point in the future (2010-11).

Lack of mortgage availability remains a major barrier to home ownership even for creditworthy households. Young people are being forced to postpone homeownership until their thirties as typical deposit requirements are now equivalent to around three quarters of annual salary for the average first time buyer.

Helping home buyers

The most important step the Government can take to help promote homeownership is to achieve economic and financial stability by addressing the nation's budget deficit. This will help to keep interest rates low and improve credit viability.

The Government is also continuing to help social tenants and other first time buyers to own or part-own their home through the Right to Buy (see Further details on your Right to Buy published) and shared ownership schemes. HomeBuy products provide support for eligible first time buyers who are unable to purchase a property suitable for their needs without assistance. Further information on these products and who is eligible can be found on the Directgov website (external link).

Preventing Repossessions

The most effective way of preventing a large rise in the numbers of repossessions is to address the public deficit and make sure that interest rates remain low.

We are also committed to working with lenders and money advisors to ensure that repossession is only ever treated as a last resort.

A range of measures are currently in place, including:

  • Financial Services Agency regulation of lenders
  • a 'Mortgage Pre-Action Protocol' in the Courts
  • funding for debt advice services
  • Support for Mortgage Interest,
  • the Mortgage Rescue Scheme.

Further information can be found on the Directgov Mortgage Help website (external link).

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