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First Homes and Discounted Market Sale Homes

What is a First Home?

First Homes is a new build affordable home for sale provided under a scheme designed to help local first-time buyers onto the property ladder, by offering homes at a discount of at least 30% (subject to maximum price below) compared to the market price. Purchasers should also have a local connection to Sefton or be a key worker.

Post-discount price caps on first sale of the property of:

  • one or two-bedroom home –£160,000
  • a three-bedroom home - £180,000
  • a four+ bedroom home – apply the national cap of £250,000

This price cap will be reviewed regularly and at least every three years.

Who is eligible for a First Home?

The national eligibility criteria for First Homes are set at paragraph 007 of the First Homes national guidance. The following is the Sefton’s eligibility criteria for First Homes:

  • A purchaser (or, if a joint purchase, all the purchasers) of a First Home should be a first-time buyer as defined in paragraph 6 of schedule 6ZA of the Finance Act 2003 for the purposes of Stamp Duty Relief for first-time buyers (national criteria).
  • Purchasers of First Homes, whether individuals, couples or group purchasers, should have a combined annual household income not exceeding £55,000 in the tax year immediately preceding the year of purchase (local criteria – national level is £80,000).
  • A purchaser of a First Home should have a mortgage or home purchase plan (if required to comply with Islamic law) to fund a minimum of 50% of the discounted purchase price (national criteria).
  • At least one the purchasers should meet one of the following criteria:
    • Meets the local connection requirement (see below)
    • Is a key public sector worker in the health and social care, emergency services or education sectors
    • is or was a member of the armed services within the past 5 years

The local connection requirement is that one of purchasers have lived in the Sefton for 6 months out of the last 12 months or 3 years out of the last 5 years; or have a permanent job in Sefton; or have a minimum of a 12-month contract of employment in Sefton or have been working for a continuous period of 6 months in Sefton; or have a close family association (parent, child or brother/sister) who is currently living in Sefton and has done so for more than 5 years; (local criteria)

  • The number of bedrooms in the First Homes should match the needs of the prospective occupiers, using the following criteria:
    • 1 or 2 bedroom – one person or more
    • 3 bedroom – at least two people (including children)
    • 4+ bedroom – at least three people (including children) (local criteria)

The Council will consider a larger home than the household size would suggest if a case is clearly and robustly made that, due to specific household or family circumstances, a larger home is required.

The above criteria are local criteria unless indicated otherwise. Any local eligibility criteria will apply for a maximum of 3 months from when a home is first marketed. If a suitable buyer has not reserved a home after 3 months, the eligibility criteria (including income caps) will revert to the national criteria, to widen the consumer base (see paragraph 007 of First Homes - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

What is a Discounted Market Sale Home?

Discounted Market Sale Homes are similar to First Homes, but they are not restricted to first time buyers and the discount is at least 20% compared to the market price. Purchasers should also have a local connection to Sefton or be a key worker.
Who is eligible for a Discounted Market Home?

  • Purchasers of Discounted Market Homes must have a household income not exceeding £55,000
  • Post-discount price caps on first sale of the property are as with First Homes (see above)
  • A Discounted Market Home should be the buyers only home and a purchaser will need to use a mortgage or home purchase plan for at least 50% of the purchase price of the home
  • Local connections and/or key worker status are as First Homes (see above)
    The above criteria are local criteria. Any local eligibility criteria will apply for a maximum of 3 months from when a home is first marketed. If a suitable buyer has not reserved a home after 3 months, the eligibility criteria in relation to income cap will revert to the national cap (£80,000) and local connection will not be required.

How do people buy a First Home or Discounted Market Home?

Buying a First Home or Discounted Market property is like buying a normal market home. The main difference is that your eligibility must be confirmed by us near the start of the purchase process.

Initially you should visit the developer selling these properties to see what is available to buy.

Further guidance on First Homes is provided by the government. Much of this guidance is also applicable to discounted market homes.

If there is a First Homes or Discounted Market home that you would like to buy, the developer, and probably a mortgage advisor, will initially check your eligibility against national criteria and any local criteria.

If it looks like you could be eligible, the developer will help you to complete an application form that will be sent to us.

The application form is available below and should be submitted to the housebuilder, with the relevant evidence, who will check it on your behalf. The housebuilder will confirm details with us. Do not send the form directly to us.

First Homes/Discounted Market Home Eligibility Form (word 25KB)
Privacy Statement (pdf 136KB)

Last Updated on Wednesday, August 23, 2023

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