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Greater Manchester has been selected as one of 30 regions to participate in the first round of Starter Homes construction, raising important questions for property accountants in Manchester, Salford and the surrounding towns.

Brownfield sites from Bolton to Bury and from Trafford to Tameside, along with Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport and Wigan are all contenders for the construction of Starter Homes under the new definition.

This latest attempt to make it easier for people to get on to the housing ladder is available only to first-time buyers aged between 23 and 40, and will make properties in participating locations available to buy for at least 20% less than their market valuation.

However, this raises several questions about how the scheme will be delivered, and government guidance already answers some of the most likely lines of enquiry.

For example, the properties must be constructed in accordance with the actual needs of first-time buyers in the area, and must not have a market value significantly larger than that of equivalent first-time homes in their area.

On the developer side, the 20% discount is made possible by exempting the developers from paying the usual Section 106 contributions, which are normally made to secure planning permission and to cover infrastructure costs such as opening new schools and public spaces.

More significantly for buyers, those who benefit from the 20% discount must remain in the property for at least five years before they will be allowed to sell it on or rent it out.

If you are looking to buy a property for the first time and want to know whether Starter Homes will be the best way for you to do so, property accountants in Manchester and Salford can help you to go through the figures and make sense of them.

Looking ahead, the scheme could have a significant impact in five years’ time, and residential property landlords across Greater Manchester might want to seek accountancy advice now in order to make the most of any properties coming on to the market below their normal value in the early 2020s.