5 Mar

First-time buyers in south-east 'need assistance to buy'

First-time buyers in south-east 'need assistance to buy'

Houses in the south-east are so expensive that local people are getting financial help so they can afford them, according to the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).

Some 40 per cent of first-time buyers (FTBs) under 30 in the region need this kind of financial assistance in 2006 as published in recent government data, CIH said.

The south-east is the least affordable region in the country outside London despite major house-building programmes and a major issue is the cost of property in relation to earnings of local people.

Richard McCarthy, director general of housing and planning in the department for communities and local government, updated delegates at the CIH South East's annual conference and exhibition on the progress of the proposed housing and regeneration bill, which will see 240,000 additional homes a year by 2016.

Recent research by Abbey Mortgages has revealed that FTBs are more reluctant to commit to buying a house.

Only a third of those who said they planned to buy at the start of the year felt they still wanted to.
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