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Extended mortgage guarantees and planning reforms in 2013 Budget

Thu 21st March 2013, 1:39 pm

Chancellor George Osborne unveiled the 2013 Budget on Wednesday, which includes extensions on mortgage guarantees for homeowners and further reforms to the planning system.

The Budget proposes to extend the First Buy scheme, which currently only applies to first-time buyers, to all who aspire to own a newly-built home.

Under the scheme, the government will provide an equity loan of up to 20 per cent of the value to be repayable after the home has been resold.

Mortgage guarantees will also be offered to lenders who provide mortgages of up to £600,000 to housebuyers with a deposit between 5 per cent and 20 per cent.

The planning proposals include proposals to allow use class changes between retail to residential to be counted as permitted development.

The Budget also mentions public sector land disposals, with “around 30 sites”  to be transferred to the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), which will be responsible for disposing of them. 

Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation said: "Overall there’s more good than bad for the property industry in this Budget, and the chancellor appears to have avoided last year’s mistake of announcing half baked policies, like the 15 per cent stamp duty rate."

"For too long time the size of deposit needed to get on the housing ladder has proved prohibitive and has been the missing piece in a coherent housing strategy, it’s good to see the Government move to remedy this."

"Time will tell whether this policy will prove effective, but taken with the fivefold expansion in the ‘build-to-rent’ fund the Government is certainly tackling the problem head on."

The Sitematch London team contacted the HCA about the transfer of 30 sites, but it was unable to provide further details of their location.

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