Labour pledge to extend help for first-time buyers

A mortgage guarantee scheme for first-time buyers will become permanent if Labour wins the upcoming general election.

Party leader Sir Keir Starmer said he wanted to “turn the dream of owning a home into a reality”.

Under the scheme — introduced by the Conservatives in 2021 — the government acts as a guarantor for people who are unable to save a big deposit while they are renting. The aim is to encourage lenders to offer deals to potential buyers with just a 5% deposit.

Borrowers still have to pass checks to show they can afford the mortgage repayments.

At present, the scheme is due to end in 2025. Making it permanent will help ensure that young people are not “locked out of homeownership”, Labour said.

The party has also proposed an overhaul of the planning system, including reintroducing housing targets and fast-tracking planning permission for building new homes on brownfield land.