How the Government is helping first-time home buyers

This Thursday there will be local elections for district and borough councils across West Sussex.

While of course national issues have been dominating the headlines, these are local elections.  So I hope people will recognise the good work of our Conservative councils in managing services efficiently and keeping council tax as low as possible.

Our Conservative councillors work hard for the local community, as I was reminded again on Friday when I joined many of our candidates, together with Mid Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames, to unite in our opposition to a Mayfields new town.

This huge development of 10,000 houses near Henfield would be unsustainable, with inadequate local infrastructure and in particular no rail access.

Our councils have not supported the proposed new town, which is blighting the local area.  The councils are already all planning for significantly more new housing in order to meet rising demand.

This week new statistics showed that Conservative reforms are helping more first-time buyers realise the dream of homeownership.

Over 210,000 people have bought a home using the Help to Buy Equity loan, and 81 per cent of purchases were made by first-time buyers.  And over 280,000 people have used a government bonus from the Help to Buy ISA to buy their first home.

The equity loan means buyers only need to raise 5 per cent of a property’s value for a deposit and the Government will stump up a loan of up to 20 per cent of the property’s value which is interest-free for five years.

The other Help to Buy scheme allows future first-time buyers to take out an ISA which pays out a government bonus of up to £3,000 towards the cost of a new home.

These schemes have helped thousands of young people locally.  The number of properties bought using a Help to Buy ISA or Equity Loan is  1,209 in Arun district, 363 in Chichester district, 1,311 in Horsham district, 1,135 in Mid-Sussex, 830 in Worthing and 184 in Adur.

Nationally, over 280,000 first-time buyers have benefitted from our stamp duty cuts, saving £680 million overall, with 8 out of 10 first-time buyers paying no stamp duty at all.

Conservative policies are helping more young people get the keys for their first home, because home ownership should not be a pipe dream for the few.

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