As part of his draft Queen’s Speech today, the Prime Minister has announced an extension of measures to help first-time buyers get onto the housing ladder.

From today, he said, all first-time buyers with a household income of £60,000 a year or less will have the opportunity to apply to buy a share of a property. An extension of the Homebuy programme, currently available to key workers only, this allows buyers to purchase a share from 25% of a property or to boost their purchasing power by up to 50% with a shared equity mortgage.

Other measures being announced today to support first time buyers include:

* A new initiative to enable the Housing Corporation to allocate up to £200m of its resources to buy new properties on the open market, either to be made available for first time buyers to purchase through the HomeBuy scheme or for social rent.

* Expanding the Open Market HomeBuy Scheme so more households will be able to take advantage of a shared equity loan, to buy a new build property on the open market. Buyers will be able to identify the home they wish to purchase from a house builder and then apply for support from the Homebuy scheme.

Housing Minister Caroline Flint said: ‘Most families aspire to get onto the housing ladder, but are being priced out of the market. We want to give them the support to help them buy an affordable home. The long term solution to the challenge of affordability is to build more homes. But in the meantime, we are doing more by giving more first time buyers the chance to boost their purchasing power and put their dream home within reach.’