Laura Sharman 18 March 2015

Budget 2015: Osborne launches 20 housing zones

The Government has revealed plans to introduce 20 new housing zones, which could provide up to 45,000 homes on brownfield sites across the country.

In his 2015 Budget, Chancellor George Osborne also confirmed plans to develop two new enterprise zones in Plymouth and Blackpool. The Government will also be extending eight existing enterprise zone such as extending Lancashire’s Enterprise Zone to include Blackpool Airport.

Mr Osborne also announced a new Help to Buy ISA to help first time buyers save for a deposit. Under the plans, the Government will contribute an extra £50 for every £200 someone is able to save, up to a maximum bonus of £3,000.

‘A 10% deposit on the average first home costs £15,000, so if you put in up to £12,000 – we’ll put in up to £3,000 more,’ he said.

‘A 25% top-up is equivalent to saving for a deposit from your pre-tax income – it’s effectively a tax cut for first time buyers.’

However, the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) said the Budget announcement would do little to tackle the shortage of affordable housing.

CIH interim chief executive, Gavin Smart, said: 'While the help to buy ISA may help some first time buyers to overcome barriers to home ownership, it fails to address the fundamental problem – that we are simply not building enough homes. Stimulating demand without also addressing the issue of supply runs the risk of further fuelling house price rises.'

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