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What is a starter home?

Part of Housing and Planning Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:00 pm on 3rd May 2016.

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Photo of Kevin Hollinrake Kevin Hollinrake Conservative, Thirsk and Malton 8:00 pm, 3rd May 2016

Opposition Members have made the point that starter homes will be built, rather than affordable homes to rent. That is, of course, true to some extent, because people want to buy homes and people on lower incomes have been excluded from the housing market for too long. We have been building an average of 50,000 affordable homes to rent for the last 20 years. Why have we not been building more affordable houses for sale, if that is what people want? Given that we have 20 years of catching up to do, it is absolutely right for the Government to set the ambitious target of building 200,000 starter homes over the next four years.

Helen Hayes gave the example of someone who will have earned £40,000 by the end of this year and is living in an affordable rented property. The average price of a London home for a first-time buyer is £250,000. I believe that, under this policy, a starter home in London could be built for about £200,000. The information provided by Shelter about the unaffordability of starter homes in most local authority areas is flawed, or deliberately misleading, because it is based on the median house price. First-time buyers buy at around 25% below the median house price, and in my area, the average house price is about £200,000.