The number of ‘affordable homes’ built in England was up 55% for the year 2014-15 compared to the year before, new Government stats show.
66,640 affordable properties were completed over the year, compared to just 42,870 homes built in 2013-14. This number was made up of new-build homes as well as those properties which were acquired by a housing association or council. The figures show that affordable home building is at its highest since 1993 and for those people who have been struggling to get on the property ladder, that’s likely to come as good news.
Building more homes
Affordable housing just means any properties that are available to rent for lower than the market value for the area. That could mean that if you live in London, what is deemed to be affordable housing might still be out of your price range.
The majority of the affordable homes created in the last year were those provided for “affordable rent”. Tenants could pay just 80% of the market value for rent in affordable rent homes, and 40,710 of these were built in the last 12 months. The focus has now shifted to affordable homes to buy with the pledge to build 400,000 by 2021 being announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. First-time buyers will be hoping that the Government’s investment in house building will develop into a wider range of affordable homes to buy.
If you’re looking to buy your first home in the near future, there are a few Government initiatives due to come into play over the next few years which could make it easier for you to get onto the housing ladder. As we’ve already mentioned, the pledge to build more affordable homes to buy over the next decade will hopefully mean more properties on the market for those on lower incomes to buy.
135,000 of the 400,000 homes that the Government has pledged to build will be ‘shared ownership’ properties. This means that you’d just buy a share of the home – between 25% and 75% – with the rest being owned by a housing association. You pay rent on the rest of the property as well as paying your mortgage, which usually works out cheaper than regular mortgage payments. There’s usually the option to buy the remaining share of the property in the future so if you’re struggling to afford a deposit on a home, this could be a way for you to buy a house.