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Nick Conner

Posted 25 January 2017
by Nick Conner

Starter Homes expected during 2017

Plymouth is one of a number of regions expected to see the construction of ‘starter homes’ in 2017. The scheme, known as the Starter Home Loans fund, sees 30 local authorities work in partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency with the value of the scheme said to be £1.2 billion. The properties will be available to current renters aged between 23 – 40 with prices discounted by a minimum of 20% on market values.

The 30 local authorities were selected on their potential for early delivery with the developments to take place on brownfield sites. There is, therefore, an emphasis on regeneration of local areas through the scheme.

With regards the minimum 20% discount, this will only apply to properties with a market value of not more than £250,000 outside London and £450,000 in the capital. The starter homes will contribute towards the Government’s target to build 400,000 new affordable homes, which has caused some commentary as to how ‘affordable’ a £450,000 property is to young renters in London.[1]

There remain a number of other Government schemes in place including the Help to Buy equity scheme and the Help to Buy ISA. One scheme that has now closed its doors is the Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee – this closed on 31 December 2016. The purpose of the scheme was to encourage lenders to offer mortgages of up to 95%. The Government state that the scheme has now served its purpose and is no longer required.

Persimmon figures

Persimmon have reported a 15% increase in sales for the second half of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015. Interestingly by way of link to the article above, Persimmon sell 45% of its homes using the Government’s Help to Buy scheme.

In terms of other notable statistics from Persimmon’s update is an increase in the average selling price by 4% to £206,700 and an 8% rise in annual revenue. In terms of its prospects for 2017, Jeff Fairburn, Persimmon’s chief executive said:

“It feels like a confident market for house buying and there’s no reason to think that could change. But it is a market based around confidence, so there are obviously risks. Nobody really knows what’s going to happen with the Brexit scenario, but we are starting from a strong position.”[2]

Stamp duty impact

Last year saw a surge of buying activity before the introduction of the second home stamp duty surcharge. Information recently published by Rightmove confirms the level of impact this legislation had on the market.

Rightmove state that the number of sales agreed in the typical first-time-buyer sector of two or less bedrooms fell by 13.2% in December 2016 when compared within December 2015. Subsequently, available stock for sale in this sector is said to have increased by 1.9% from 2016. This contrasts with the same period a year ago, when available stock fell by 18 per cent as active buy-to-let purchasers reduced choice and limited buyers’ ability to negotiate.[3]

Looking at other data published by Rightmove specifically related to the South West, the average asking price fell in January 2017 when compared with December 2016 by 2.2%. Taking a longer-term statistical look, the average price in January 2016 was £282,373 compared with £284,961 for January 2017 (so far), which gives an increase of £0.8%.


We are always pleased to hear from our clients about their experiences of the firm. Here are some examples of feedback received about the Tozers’ property team in the past month:

Of Vernon Clarke:

Friendly, helpful and always kept me informed. Excellent as always.”

Of Nick Conner and Danielle Mewse:

I would like to say a big thank to you and Danielle for your conveyancing services. I was very pleased with how our purchase ran smoothly and quickly. Your professionalism and guidance was very much appreciated.”

Of Mark Meleady:

“Very friendly, no question too small/big. Very efficient. Made the process easy and stress free.”


Key contacts

Vernon Clarke, Partner & Solicitor

01392 667672 or


Nick Conner, Partner & Solicitor

01392 667693 or







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About the author

Nick Conner

Nick Conner

Partner and Solicitor

A conveyancer and partner in the property department