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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 May, 2005, 13:16 GMT 14:16 UK
What do you think of cheap mortgage plan?
Estate agents window
First-time home buyers struggling to get on the property ladder could get help to buy cheap mortgages funded by taxpayers' money.

Buyers would have to raise as little as half of the cost of homes sold on the open market, Chancellor Gordon Brown has announced.

The rest of the equity in the house would be shared by the government and the bank or building society.

What do you think of the chancellor's plans to help first-time buyers? Do you think the scheme is fair on those who already own homes?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

This measure will push the prices of houses even higher
Todd, Oxford
And what do you think will happen to house prices when the market realises that more people suddenly can afford a house that is twice as expensive? This measure will push the prices of houses even higher because sellers will know a first-time buyer can afford even more! It is far better to use the market than fight it. Build so many new homes that they become inexpensive again, it is the only sensible solution!
Todd, Oxford

Nationalisation of the private housing stock wasn't in the manifesto, was it? The use of public funds to assist house purchases suggests the "haves" can continue to charge high prices for their homes, whilst the "have nots" won't own 100% of their new home. Four more years of this? Oh boy.
Neil, Edinburgh, Scotland

Oh brilliant. Bad enough that the greedy speculators and estate agents who have caused this boom for short term profit were being subsidised by hard-pressed home owners through extortionate mortgages, now we are going to be clobbered through our taxes too. There is a far fairer solution which is common on the continent. Statutory controls on house prices. There a house is regarded as a home and not a means of making money as here. But this government has all the backbone of a jelly-fish so daren't stand up to the property industry.
Philip Le Roux, Aldershot, UK

I'm sick of hearing about low paid public sector workers - they're not low paid compared to huge numbers of people working in industry! This idea is a disgusting waste of time - if they want to build housing, then bring back council houses.
Martin, Coventry, UK

What exactly is wrong with renting? I had to rent until I was 35.
Quentin, Luton, UK

This is an excellent idea. I'm 21 and in full time employment. I'm glad Gordon Brown is doing something about the crazy house market. It makes me feel more confident that I will be able to afford a house. However more houses need to be built as well. Too much demand and not enough supply.
Mo, Gloucester

Let local authorities build high quality social housing again
P J, West Yorkshire
Let local authorities build high quality social housing again rather than entice people into spending money on what they may not be able to afford. Part equity schemes may be a good idea for mortgage "rescue" schemes, but not necessarily for first time home occupiers.
P J, West Yorkshire

What is needed is a house price crash. This proposal will just keep house prices unnecessarily high.
Andy, London

At last some policies aimed at young single people - a group of people generally ignored by all politicians. This will make the world of difference to thousands of people wanting to get out of the expensive, money-wasting private rented sector; but whose salaries are insufficient to raise the huge mortgages required.
Sam, Sheffield, UK

I cannot believe Gordon Brown has done this. I am an estate agent and as everyone knows it has been a difficult market recently. I traded through the last property crash of the early '90s and one of the things that sparked the crash was the announcement of the withdrawal of mortgage tax relief. This is going to make the few first time buyers withdraw from the market, potentially leading to the market to collapsing.
Rupert Garrett, London

With record consumer debt combined with astronomical mortgages, this country is in a precarious state
Iain Nicholson, UK
Quite simply, the housing market is over-priced. These schemes do nothing to address this, the root cause of the problem, but rather artificially help to keep prices up. The housing market needs to correct itself. With record consumer debt combined with astronomical mortgages, this country is in a precarious state.
Iain Nicholson, UK

As others have stated this scheme is madness. Providing buyers with 25% of the capital to buy houses will just maintain prices 25% too high, assuming the supply of property remains restricted. I intend to buy my first house soon and would rather not be forced, by virtue of these inflated prices, to have my house partially owned by the government.
Richard Stevens, Oxford, UK

It's not a bad idea, just poorly executed. I bought my house and only just afforded it for the first few years. But I still don't think it should be a free hand-up. The government should provide the money, but as a cheap loan to have the interest only repaid at a later date.
Dave Derrick, Bristol, UK

House prices overshot the historic average a long time ago. A correction is inevitable. The government know that if house prices drop unemployment will rise, creating a recession and a downward spin for the economy. I wonder if this crazy idea will keep the market 'stable' for the next five years!? Patience.
Andy, West Midlands

As a higher rate taxpayer, I am disturbed that I will have to subsidise first time buyers. Can my tax money be put to any worse use than help people buy properties that are already been artificially inflated by easy money?
Michael Smith-Benson, London

When? Is the only question on my lips. After a couple of seeming minor debts added up to 20K we're stuck renting because our income is smashed by the repayments I hope this scheme starts ASAP. It will the only way we can get a home for ourselves again, for at least ten years.
David Perkins, Wolverhampton

What Brown is going to do is artificially keep house prices rising. Why is he introducing this just at a time when house price rises are finally stagnating. Is it because his whole economic policy is based on rising house prices causing consumer spending. This is not good news for first-time buyers. Prices will rise and first-time buyers will end up with the same mortgage but now only own a percentage of their home.
Paul Smith, Teddington

I find this shared equity plan very worrying. What will happen if prices fall significantly? Who will absorb the losses of negative equity? There is no doubt in my mind that property is grossly overvalued but the proper solution is to allow values to fall back in line with current salaries and not to create props to support these inflated values.
Peter Willis, Bristol, UK

I'm against fuelling house-price inflation further
Andrew, Bristol
I'm 27, single, have worked hard to get into a good career, and yet cannot afford even a half-decent property. But I'm against Gordon Brown's scheme. I'm against fuelling house-price inflation further.
Andrew, Bristol, UK

What Gordon Brown has proposed is in essence an artificial support to the market. What about hard-working, educated people in their 30s who want a reasonably priced property in London and are being skimmed under Labour's stealth taxes - we pay whilst others gain at our expense?
Antony, London, UK

Sounds a good idea at first - I am a graduate working for a small charity and can't envisage how I could ever buy a house in London. The aspect I dislike is that this scheme does not address the fact that house prices are plainly and simply unrealistic for most people. On the other hand, I hate pouring my money down the rental drain and can't really see any other way out at the moment.
Joel Lewis, London, UK

Where's the problem? The money is a loan, not a grant to first-time buyers.
Asif Givashi, London

There is a simple solution. Tax buy-to-let after a certain point. Charge full council tax on empty homes. Why should anyone have the right to own more than x number of dwellings? Housing should not be too free a market as it is a basic necessity. This is just another attempt to prop up the market.
M C, London

This is Big Brother writ large
David Ball, Wokingham
This is Big Brother writ large - the government owning part of your home (and sitting on an appreciating asset). What was wrong with tax relief on mortgage interest if they really want to help?
David Ball, Wokingham, UK

This is like curing the symptom and not the illness. A sure sign of a deeper rooted problem that needs to be addressed. The cost of home ownership in the UK is shocking and I don't think that I could afford to move back.
Daniel, Florida, Formerly Preston Lancs

I'd say it was a total waste of taxpayers money being used to subsidise the middle classes, if I wasn't a student approaching final year and just the sort of person it will subsidise.
Alex, Leicester, UK

This scheme is not going to help stabilize the housing market. It's just going to subsidise existing home owners who borrowed too much and now want to recoup some money by putting their houses on sale at unrealistic prices.
Katharine, Surbiton

I'm really looking forward to finding out more about this scheme
James, Cambridge
My initial thought is: great. I'm 27, have lived in a village just outside of Cambridge all my life and feel I should not have to move away to other areas. I earn a half decent wage, but with me and my girlfriend's combined earnings I still can't afford to get on the property ladder. I'm really looking forward to finding out more about this scheme.
James, Cambridge

As a taxpayer and a first time buyer I object to this plan. It smacks of desperation and is in some ways keeps prices high. People with property have had it good for a while and now that situation is about to change. Let's not reignite the housing market with silly schemes like this. Taxing people who have second or holiday homes, and dealing with the "buy to let" crowd would be a more sensible thing to do.
Peter, Manchester

If you can't afford it, don't buy it! Don't expect someone else to pay for it for you either.
Phil Dagnan, Harlow, UK

There is something we have to realise: the cost of buying your own home is too high. People have inflated the price of their properties as designer labels inflate the price of their products. We stepped onto the ladder seven years ago. But within two years prices had reached a point that would have stopped us buying if we hadn't already done so. It's time to rethink how everyone is housed - maybe if we brought back council housing we might bring back communities with them.
Guy Lowndes, New Mills, High Peak

Sounds like brain surgery with a spanner to me
Joseph Postin, Tamworth
Sounds like brain surgery with a spanner to me. Fix the problem with the appropriate tool - and that would be valuing the work these people do by paying them a sufficient wage to allow them to participate in our home-owning world.
Joseph Postin, Tamworth, UK

We have been waiting for sanity in the housing market for four years. When it finally comes our ridiculous government cheats once again. This ploy will only delay the inevitable, only now the consequences will be far worse. We must call on the opposition parties to fight this with all their might.
C Bulled, Exeter, Devon

I look forward to this scheme's adoption, because I have no doubt that, in an even-handed way, any cost to the taxpayer arising from the interest payable by the beneficiaries will be matched by payments to others such as myself - who still see no way to afford to buy a home.
Chris, Bristol, UK

Seems like good idea, but as always you get the snobs and the overpaid complaining that the government wants to help people on average incomes. I have two kids and I need to move. Until now I had no chance. The only place I can afford at present is full of drug addicts.
Patrick Murray, Glasgow

In theory I should agree with the Chancellor's plan, but in practice it is a recipe for disaster
Sam, Cambridge
I am a graduate struggling to buy my first home. I am on a decent wage but am completely priced out of the market - even though I am being crippled by paying 650 private rent plus bills per month. In theory I should agree with the Chancellor's plan, but in practice it is a recipe for disaster. Why not just concentrate on building low-cost properties for first time buyers (and not just couples!!) so that we can own the whole of the property (with no buy-to-letter's allowed anywhere near the sale)?
Sam, Cambridge

The Government have to take some of the blame for allowing house prices to spin out of control. As usual they have been scared of upsetting middle class voters. Brown should have the guts to keep house prices under control through stamp duty and inheritance tax. At the end of the day, house price inflation and high turnover of housing stock only benefits estate agents.
Robert, York, UK

Myself and my partner would like to be first time buyers but this situation looks so risky I'm not putting any of my cash into it until I know it's not going to burst!
Helen, Bristol

All this will do is push house prices even higher. Well done Gordon.
Paul Barron, Leeds, UK

To Andy, Bath: Yeah lets just put in a few more taxes like we haven't got enough already
Charlie Archer, Stroud, England

Isn't this a new version of the Thatcher era sale of council properties?
Clive, USA/ UK
Isn't this a new version of the Thatcher era sale of council properties at well below the market value? That didn't help home ownership to spread and make it more affordable for first time buyers and this scheme seems destined to go the same direction.
Clive, Milwaukee, USA/ UK

The idea for this is great for first time buyers. but as my wife and I have two children of opposite sexes, we would need to buy a three bedroom property. which seems to be missed in all of these new housing developments which are now being built.
Jason Wallis, London

I've already got a house through a shared ownership scheme, although it seems like a good idea, I just want people to be aware that paying a rent for one half and paying a mortgage on the other can get very expensive.
Esther, Bristol

And how exactly is this scheme going to be funded? Tax Rises of course!
Dan, Hemel Hempstead
I cannot see that this scheme will truly help anyone. It may well cause a further increase in house prices in the market and although I sympathise with those who find themselves out-priced and unable to buy at present I had to struggle in the first place like many of my contemporaries. I suspect that the scheme will only raise more money for the exchequer and not really help anyone, although it will possibly give Labour a chance to say that they have created an economy where there are more first time buyers.
J Burdall, Matlock, England

And how exactly is this scheme going to be funded? Tax Rises of course! Stay out of this insane property market!!
Dan, Hemel Hempstead

An ill thought through policy both politically and economically. The market should be left to find its own equilibrium. Interference by the Government will distort that market leaving house prices inflated, in real terms, for a longer period than it would ordinarily, if the market were left to adjust itself. Ultimately, the policy would be self defeating.
Ketan B Shah, West Harrow, England

As a non-parent I already subsidise the rest of Britain. Now, while living in a modest property within my means, I will subsidise people who have ideas above their station as far as their place on the property ladder is concerned.
Craig, Stirling, UK

House inflation has been allowed to spiral out of control. The economy has been boosted by this as people have spent their paper profits in equity through loans, credit cards etc. Encouraging others to join this mess is total folly. Let the housing market collapse back to realistic prices, while increase council and private house construction. Houses are simply not worth the money being paid.
John, Livingston

Government subsidies will just drive house prices up even further. Brown should have been bringing house prices down a long time ago, by discouraging second home owners and buy to let purchasers. This could have been achieved by increasing council tax on second homes, taxing buy to let mortgages and by having an Investment Income Surcharge on rental income.
Andy, Bath, UK

This sounds like my only hope of getting on the ladder
Anthony Williams, Cheshire
This sounds like my only hope of getting on the ladder: I've not worked for over 10 years due to ill health, and have been living on benefits since my illness started. My health has begun to improve now and I'm back in employment. But my wages are far from what they need to be if I'm to get my own place - and I wouldn't say my job is one of the worst paid as I'm a skilled worker.
Anthony Williams, Marple, Cheshire

Do wake up, Mr Brown! This is at best another half-baked lefty brainstorm - an ill-considered meddling with the market which will end in tears. Is this crackpot idea really from the person who might be our next prime minister?
Chris B, Bedford, England

In a free market, house prices are set on the boundary of what the seller can get and what the buyer can afford. If the buyer can afford more through government assistance, only one thing will happen: prices will go up. The net housing situation will not change, only the amount of money being squandered by Labour on our behalf.
David Healer, Harpenden, Herts

Bearing in mind that in addition to paying the mortgage on 50% of the house you would be paying "rent" to the lender on the remaining 50%. Not such a good deal. I think Gordon Brown is just trying to shore up the market as long as he can before the inevitable downturn.
Phil, Oxford UK

Both my partner and I are graduates working in the legal profession. We earn less than a nurse, teacher or police officer. Not just that but we have massive debts from all the training that we have had to fund ourselves. We too are providing a necessary service to society but wouldn't receive any help at all. This scheme won't work. It's a crazy situation that I can only afford to rent from a man who owns the whole street, sends most of the profits abroad and evades tax by having the properties in different people's names. Every second/ third and so on home should be subject to massive charges. Friends of mine living in council homes have been given the right to buy their homes, some of them don't even work full time or at all. This whole situation makes me so bitter.
Rufus, Yorkshire

This is another example of the ever expanding middle class 'welfare state'
Claire, London
To say nothing about the discrimination against single people, this is another example of the ever expanding middle class 'welfare state'. Inflated market prices should be allowed to adjust downwards supported by a renewed building program of affordable homes, reversing the decimation of council stock under the Conservatives. Artificial support of house prices, though politically expedient in Middle England, will merely compound the problem
Claire, London

Absolute stupidity! All that this is going to achieve in the long term is further house price inflation, in what is already a market that is over-inflated and unrealistic. The government should let the mechanisms of the free market economy do their job, and a correction will eventually come. This will inevitably feed through to a correction in house price inflation and expectation. It simply displays another ill conceived gimmick policy from a government that cannot make up its mind what it wants the economy to be.
Paolo Benedetto, UK

This is just keeping the prices artificially high. If the market does not support the lower entry purchases, the prices will eventually drop.
Jay, Warwick, UK

A great way of increasing the cost of entry-level housing!
Martin Gamble, Northern England

What an absolutely ludicrous measure! All it can do is increase demand for housing (with more able to afford it, via the government aid), without doing anything for the supply of housing, forcing prices to rise even more! This is quite possibly the most economically backward piece of witless tomfoolery I've ever had the misfortune to encounter!
Gareth Rippingale, UK

This is completely the wrong approach
Oliver, UK
This is completely the wrong approach. House inflation is caused by an imbalance between supply and demand. All this will do is increase demand and make the problem worse, benefiting no-one. The obvious solution is to sort out our crazy planning system freeing up supply - preferably sufficiently to cause a significant drop in house prices.
Oliver, Herts, UK

It's about time the government started helping those who are trying to help themselves. Since graduating in 2002 myself and my husband have been trying to buy a house, but are totally priced out of the market. We have tried to get onto a shared ownership scheme but we are not in 'housing need'. This scheme is are only hope of owning a home so we are no longer ripped off by landlords.
Naomi, Torquay, UK

Bad idea. All it will do is make it more difficult for future generations, although we live in mixed economy the government should stop second home ownership i.e. buy-to-let. Homes are just that, homes. They shouldn't be piggy banks.
Andrew, Preston Lancs

I feel that we as first time buyers need all the help we can get. As an ambulance technician I cover the south Bucks area including Gerrards Cross, yet I do not receive any south east living allowance of any kind from my employers.
Steve, Aylesbury, UK

As a student I was initially in favour of this plan, but wouldn't it be better to try to work out why prices are so high and go from there? This seems the same kind of thinking that supports giving a starving man a fish, not teaching him how to catch his own. Quick fixes never seem to work.
John, Canterbury, UK

When will the government realise that the reason why house price inflation is out of control is because demand is outstripping supply. This is just a sticking plaster solution. The answer is to build more housing not to push a "one size fits all" solution. Consider this - you buy 50% of a flat and pay rent on the rest. You start a family and need more space but you cannot afford to trade-up and you don't qualify for any further concessions because you aren't a key worker and no longer a first time buyer. What do you do then? Answers on a postcard please as we are exactly that position.
Michelle, London

There's plenty of 'affordable' homes in Britain - but they're mostly in the northern half of the country. It's in the south east and London where only the very well off can now afford to buy their own place to live. Perhaps, if the government had had a proper regional policy, and hadn't encouraged so many people and businesses to locate in the south, we wouldn't be in this dreadful mess right now, where even teachers are renting homes.
Matt, London, UK

I'm quite happy to rent a flat or space in an existing house. Why should my taxes be used to subsidise those who want the countryside destroyed to satisfy their ownership fetish?
David, Reading, UK

So the state will take a slice of the housing market. This is nothing if not nationalisation by the back door. It is council housing for the 21st century. Unless the Government (A Labour Government!)is intent on making the house building companies even more obscenely rich, it should put a cap on the profits for all new houses built under this scheme and save the taxpayers some money.
Paul T Horgan, Bracknell, UK

Subsidised housing for underpaid young couples. What is an overtaxed, young single professional supposed to make of this guff? This reeks of social engineering, economic panic and patronising new Labour nannying to the extreme. Roll on the recession to see the government squirm!
Al, London

The government is finally waking up to the fact that there is a whole disaffected generation of people who can't afford to buy their own home. How about putting a limit on the number of houses that are bought to let? This would increase the supply of housing. Also, how about replacing estate agents' commission for a flat fee every time they brokered a deal? It is obviously in the estate agent's interest to complete at the highest possible price to maximise their cut. No wonder I need to borrow 8 times my salary for a one-bedroomed flat!
Martin, London, UK

We do need more homes built, to catch up with the economic growth and modern lifestyles. This solution prevents the two-tier society of yesteryear with those who work for a living supporting those who subsist as landlords and have little if any contribution to society.
Adam, Reading UK

A first-time property (1 bed) in my city starts at approx 120k in a reasonable area, the leap in cost to a small family home is colossal, will the government/building societies continue to fund such a natural desire to progress? Complete property ownership has long been a staple part of British society, the thought of growing old and not owning my own property deeply concerns me - combined with the future pension's crisis and my concerns turn to fear!
Mr Preston, York, England

As a graduate who would like to be a first time buyer but is priced out of the market, I like the idea. However I think we'd be better off allowing councils to double council tax on second homes, triple it on third homes and so on. We don't actually have a housing shortage in this country. We have a pensions crisis which is causing a housing crisis as people try to use buy to let instead of a pension. Penalise greedy buy to let landlords and supply would increase, so bringing prices down to a much more affordable level.
Ellen Wilkinson, London

My partner and I have been trying to buy for a couple of years. Both graduates, with an average(ish) income, local, born and bred here yet cannot afford to buy in Cornwall and cannot look forward to raising my own family here. We pay ?600 per month plus bills for a 1 1/2 bedroomed cottage, and would be happy to buy anything with a separate living room, kitchen and bedroom for less than 75k...garages round here sell for 25k ! Just think if all the NIMBY's in history had their way no one would have anywhere to live! I understand that new developments have fit in with the local environment, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be built!
Leanne, Cornwall, UK

This just seems an attempt by the government to shore up the faltering bottom rung of the property ladder. But the reality may now be first time buyers pulling out of chains while they what to see what happens with this scheme. This could cause the crash rather than avert it.
Portent, London

It is clear that stock market-esque investment strategies have been at work in the housing market for some time and it is speculation has led to the current housing problem. Wouldn't Gordon be better off coming up with legislation that would put off this type of investment and bring a return to houses being thought of as homes again?
Ben, Newcastle upon Tyne

Bad idea. How about taxing the profits on second homes and putting VAT on first homes to keep prices down. In any case this idea just panders to the 'have it all now' culture, where saving for a few years is something most young people have no idea about.
Roger Thomas, Andover, UK

Wow, this is really desperate, the government must be convinced that prices are about to collapse, taking the economy with it. In the long run of course prices need to crash, probably by the 50% suggested at in this desperate, un fundable move...
Rob, Surrey

What we need is cheaper house prices not some smoke and mirrors economic fudge. More available building land and less people treating housing as an extension to the stock market.
Steven Hall, Nottingham

This is transparently not a measure to help first time buyers. Rather it is an attempt to stop the house price bubble bursting now that first time buyers like me are priced out of the market. Prices are high because demand is outstripping supply. You don't solve that by creating more demand through subsidies! I'm encouraged that there are some reforms proposed on the supply side, but the government is deluding itself if it thinks that it can stop this bubble bursting. That's the thing about bubbles: they always burst eventually. The only question is when, and how much mess they make when they do.
Matt Kane, Bristol, UK

On the outset it sounds like a great idea but why should the taxpayer fund cheaper housing? Can't we leave things to market forces or is Labour running scared of a property price collapse?
Omar, Blackburn

What difference is this to government research group all of whom were in various shared ownership schemes and not one of us had managed to increase our share holding. I have paid about ?15000 in rent with nothing to show for it. Longer term mortgages would be more of an advantage.
Lahr, London, England

This is a terrible idea! People should keep their desires within sensible limits. People can move out of the more expensive areas, there are plenty of jobs in the North where the house prices are lower. Also, we need more council housing as an alternative to buying
Jay, Bradford, UK

What a blunder - how do you solve the lack of housing supply problem? Well, according to Gordon, you increase demand. What a misguided policy.
Sharon, Reading

This Government has only just secured re-election, and already it has returned to the bad old days of class war. I'm a potential FTB, but I don't want to buy a 50/75pc share of a house, with the balance funded by the Government, as this would limit the chance to better myself in the future. I'd much rather see house prices included in the inflation calculation, and the target figure maintained at 2.5pc. That way, the Government would have to do something serious to help, rather than chase cheap gimmicks.
Jamie, Cheshire, UK

Very dangerous. The market is unrealistic now but will come down in the next two years. There are too many greedy investors with too many buy-to-lets. A higher tax on profits from property sales would be preferable than using more taxpayers money on this scheme.
Simon Roberts, Berkshire

Gordon Barclay, what kind of world do you live in? "Nobody has the right to own a house". That's like saying no-one has the right to earn more than the minimum wage. Everyone in this country has the right to buy a property and invest in their future if they can afford to do so. If assistance from the government is the way for people to achieve this then so be it.
Steve Willetts, Gloucester

This scheme won't cost the chancellor a penny. The threat of it alone will trigger a collapse in the housing market and produce the affordable housing by default. A master stroke? If only it doesn't cause a recession.
Gary Clarke, Hertford

What bank or building society is going to take the risk with it's shareholders dividends by investing in properties that, even by most of their own reckoning, are between 20 and 30% above their true market values? Is the government going to underwrite the loss? And can we guarantee that successive governments will continue the scheme or will they 'tinker' with it as with all subsidies and grants?
Martin, Derby

Why does everybody think they have the right to buy a house in this country? I would love to buy a new Ferrari but unfortunately I can't afford one - please Mr Brown, can I have a cheap loan?
Neil, Halifax, England

It isn't fair that public money goes to subsidise buying houses for these workers especially when they get good wages, pension, plenty of holidays and jobs for life unlike private sector workers and the wages they get are not low at all around here.
Mike Tawfiq, Dorchester, Dorset, UK

This is nothing new. Our lender tried this experiment in 1989. We had a 70% share but the lender had the controlling interest. Furthermore their share of the sale price was 30% of either the original asking price or of the sale price whichever is the greater. The only way that the Chancellor will have been able to persuade the Council of Mortgage Lenders to play ball is if their members benefit. A far as I can see this has nothing to do with housing young families and everything to do with keeping the housing market from crashing.
Colin Taylor, Swanscombe, Kent

I'm a Labour supporter, but this is not a good idea. House prices should be allowed to settle, then people would be able to afford housing and tax payers money would be saved. We also need more housing built.
Ian Monte, London

The plan is yet another nice piece of New Labour Let's-Help-Our-New-Friends-in-the-City-Under-the-Guise-of-Helping-the-Little-Guy schmaltz, but it's even less relevant than usual this time as the house price bubble is currently in mid-burst. Give it a little time, however and this property "realignment" will once again make housing affordable for the first time buyer .. not that they'll be interested in buying any longer, then of course.
Pat, London, UK

So much for prudence. Shouldn't the government have learned from "Black Wednesday" that intervention can only buck the market for so long? Whose money will be lost when the housing market falls anyway and these houses start being repossessed? I bet it won't be the banks'.
Gary Shrimpton, Exeter, UK

So here we have it, the defining moment of new Labour hypocrisy. A belief that the state should intervene to support all of the young people who cannot afford housing, due to punitive new Labour stealth taxation. Enough of this nonsense, it is not the answer and yet again takes the state to places where it should not be.
Julian Benson, Manchester, UK

I hope single first time buyers are also included in this plan, if it must be this way. It's even more difficult for people trying to buy on their own than it is for couples, who have two incomes to add together!
Marie, Manchester

Nobody seemed to care about the 'struggling young couples' when greedy buy-to- letters were steaming into the property market. Now the buy-to-letters have decided it is becoming increasingly difficult to make double digit returns from vulnerable people the attention is falsely turned to first time buyers to keep the bubble growing. If the government had intervened 3 years ago and prevented this speculative stampede into housing there wouldn't be the problem there is today. The old analogy is, it's hard to deflate a bubble without it going pop!
Nicky Snell, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Doesn't this mean that house prices will increase as they become more 'affordable' to buyers?
Pete Gaulton, St Helens

How will banks and building societies sift out deserving applicants whose salaries simply will not stretch to the average-priced house, from those simply angling to buy dream homes well above their means? People are fed up with watching the ever increasing tax they have to pay being put to ill-thought out, costly schemes. Leave the housing market alone, it will correct itself in the end - despite what Gordon thinks he can do.
Mike Walsh, Burton, UK

I am a 23 year-old police officer living at home still. I think it's a good idea though many of the part-buy schemes currently available only make you eligible inside your current borough. If they were to allow you to buy in another borough this may help people such as myself.
Ryan Holliday, Sutton, Surrey UK

My concern with this idea is that it will help to maintain house prices at their current insane level, rather them to fall to something more reasonable as demand falls.
Matthew, Cambridge, UK

The reason first-time buyers are struggling is that there is a shortage of small starter-houses. Shortages always elevate prices; this is basic economics. To reduce prices, simply allow the building of more starter homes and the prices will drop.
Dan H, Burnley, UK

Mr Brown seems to be concentrating on first-time buyers being couples? What about people who wish to buy something as a single person? I am a 23yr old nurse, already qualifying for the key-workers scheme, however, I can't even afford the mortgage to buy 1/2 a house (probably closer to a quarter) in Oxford. What is he going to do to help other people like me?
Emma, Oxford, UK

Being a student just about to graduate, you might think I was in favour of this plan, after all, I'll need somewhere to live soon. However, this is a ridiculous waste of tax money and another example of Brown's socialist agenda. If we didn't have to pay so much tax or NI contributions, house prices wouldn't be so unaffordable, and furthermore: land and property development wouldn't be so expensive, builders could put up houses faster with a better-paid more-enthused workforce and the housing situation could be resolved. Throwing money at the problem is no solution.
Jon, Bristol, UK

The new plans are a fantastic idea. My partner and I have been trying to buy a house (first time) for a couple of years and have just been watching the prices go up and up and our hopes to buy disappear. We are both graduates and have both worked since we graduated but salary increases are way behind the rise in house prices. We would definitely consider a 75% ownership.
Kerry Murrell, Cambridge, UK

I hope people see through this scheme for what it is - council housing through the back door. Prices will never come back down to their historic norm with this kind of government interference. Instead we will continue for the next decade to have to mortgage ourselves to the hilt for 50% rather than 100% of value.
Patrick, Andover

This idea smacks of desperation. It has been obvious for some time, all is not well with the UK economy. Things are about to get messy and labour will have to pay for their mismanagement, so this is ploy to try and prop up a market which will otherwise and very likely still, tank. We should be asking is it right for a government to try and nationalise the countries housing stock for mostly political gain??
Matt Hicks, Kent

I must admit that this idea looks great as a way to get unfairly underpaid workers such as nurses on the housing ladder. However, the cynic in me says that the Government is petrified of the housing market stagnating and preventing consumer spending. Unless the market is propped up by newcomers there will be a fall. Maybe this is an attempt to keep the housing market buoyed up and us suckered into accepting above inflation Council Tax rises as well as the continuing steep rise in the cost of British living.
Carl, London

Personally I am against any "state" intervention for house buyers, no one has the right to buy a house. Why do feel that you haven't made it in this life unless you own a house. Other countries don't have this home owning obsession that seems to prevail in the UK. More rented accommodation should be built by the state if people are finding it hard to find somewhere to live. Sure if you want to and can afford to buy a home - go ahead but you have no god given right to own a property.
Gordon Barclay, Bishops Stortford, Herts

The amount of buy to let mortgages has actually been increasing faster than the housing stock since 1999. The government could easily sort out the current inflated house prices by simply taxing these mortgages more. Making it easier for people to buy homes whilst not dealing with other problems will NOT reduce house prices but continue to help them inflate.
James Newman, UK

I am currently priced out of the market and this offer would be very tempting. I do however feel that the government has no place funding this sort of scheme and that long term effect would be bad on the housing market. Prices need to stabilize somewhere around normal inflation i.e. under 3%. This will only serve to increase house price inflation.
Mike Rodgers, Exeter UK

The Chancellor says in this announcement that he wants to help "couples". Yet more of the nonsense that in the election saw the phrase "hard working families" trotted out time after time. As if not being part of a regular family unit means you are a less valid member of society and aren't pulling your weight. House prices are stupidly inaccessible to anyone on a normal income, but those of us not in neat little nuclear family units can get stuffed as far as Labour is concerned, evidently.
Jen, Manchester, UK

This scheme seems to be well intended but it will just fuel the housing market even further. In my experience FTBs are not content with buying a small terrace house to start with! This is just going to add to the "have it all" generation.
Harriet, Bradford

It would be better to let the market adjust the currently inflated house prices downward. This will not help first time buyers. It will however throw a lifeline to those existing homeowners who have foolishly borrowed heavily based on a bloated plastic bubble and it will be using public funds to do it. Politicians never learn. This is total folly.
Paul, Derby





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