What is the First Homes Scheme?



First Homes scheme: discounts for first-time buyers

If you’re a first-time buyer, you may be able to buy a home for 30% to 50% less than its market value. This offer is called the First Homes scheme.

The home can be:

  • a new home built by a developer
  • a home you buy from someone else who originally bought it as part of the scheme

The First Homes scheme is only available in England.


You must be:

  • 18 or older
  • a first-time buyer
  • able to get a mortgage for at least half the price of the home
  • buying the home as part of a household where total income is no more than £80,000

The local council may also set some eligibility conditions.

For example, some councils may prioritise giving First Homes discounts to:

  • essential workers
  • people who already live in the area
  • those on lower incomes

Exemptions for armed forces and their families

You’re exempt from council conditions about being an essential worker or living in the area if you’re:

  • a member of the armed forces
  • the divorced or separated spouse or civil partner of a member of the armed forces
  • a widow or widower of a deceased member of the armed forces (if their death was caused wholly or partly by their service)
  • a veteran who left the armed forces in the last 5 years

You still need to meet other eligibility conditions.

How does the First Homes Scheme work?

You can look for new homes in your area that are advertised by developers as part of the First Homes scheme.

Developers offer these homes to first-time buyers with 30% to 50% of the market value taken off the price.

Every home that’s sold is valued by an independent surveyor to make sure the discount is based on actual market value.

The homes cannot cost more than £420,000 in London, or £250,000 anywhere else in England after the discount has been applied.

You can only sell the home to someone who is eligible to buy a First Home. You must give them the same percentage discount that you got, based on the home’s market value at the time of sale.

How to apply for the First Homes Scheme?

Contact the developer (or estate agent if you’re buying from a previous First Homes buyer) and tell them you want to buy a First Home.

They’ll help you to complete the application, and then send it to the local council.

You’ll have to pay a fee if the First Home you want to buy is a new build. The amount is set by the developer.

You’ll get the fee back if your application is unsuccessful.

What happens next?

The local council will check your application to make sure you’re eligible.

They’ll contact you to tell you their decision. They’ll also contact the developer and your mortgage advisor.

If your application was missing any information, they may ask you to provide it.



(Things you will need to know in preparation for your assessment – your annual salary | your current monthly outgoings | the amount of deposit you have available)


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