First Homes Scheme

  • Expert mortgage & protection advice
  • Thousands of mortgage products available
  • See if we can help you find the right deal 
Get in touch for a free, no-obligation chat with an adviser about how we might be able to help

Get in Touch

1 Step 1

The First Homes scheme offers local first-time buyers and key workers a discount of 30% off the market price of their new home. In some areas the discount could be as high as 50%, providing even greater savings.

Please note this scheme is only available in England.

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

It was only launched in June 2021, so it’s still finding its feet, but more properties should become available as developers break ground on new sites. The target was to build 1,500 First Homes across 100 locations in England within two years.

How does the First Homes scheme work?

Look for new homes advertised by developers under the First Homes scheme in your area. First-time buyers can purchase these homes for 30% to 50% less than their market value.

Independent surveyors value every home that’s sold to ensure the discount is accurate.

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

In the future, you can only sell the home to a buyer who is eligible to purchase a First Home. You must give them the same percentage discount you received. The amount of discount you need to give is determined by the property’s market value at the time you want to sell, not the price you bought it for.

Who is eligible for the scheme?

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 (or £90,000 if you live in London)

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

You are 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 five years

However, you still need to meet other eligibility conditions.

How does the process of buying through the First Homes scheme work?

Tell the developer (or estate agent if you’re buying from a previous First Homes buyer) that you want to buy a First Home. They will then assist you in completing the application and submitting it to the local council.

If your First Home is a new build, you will have to pay a fee. The developer sets the amount. If your application is unsuccessful, you will get a refund.

Then, local council will verify your eligibility and notify you of their decision. They will contact your mortgage advisor and the developer too. You must provide any missing information if your application was incomplete.

Upon approval, you can apply for a mortgage and the rest of the process will be the same as buying any property. The minimum deposit required is 5% of the agreed purchase price – that’s the price after the discount has been applied.

Your home in the future

You can only sell the property 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. A RICS-registered surveyor has to value the property.

You can also leave the property in your will to someone, but they will have to sell it if they don’t follow the First Homes scheme rules.

Alternatively, you can remortgage your First Home. The remortgage must be based on the value of the home less the discount you received when you bought it. For example, you would be able to take out a maximum mortgage worth 70% of the home’s value if you purchased it at a 30% discount.

Pros and cons of the First Homes scheme


  • You can buy a house for less money – the discount means a smaller deposit and smaller mortgage is needed
  • There may be less competition due to strict criteria
  • It gets you on the ladder if you can’t afford a property at full market value
  • You may be able to buy in your local area, instead of being forced to look elsewhere for a property you can afford
  • Limited availability of houses
  • Limited number of banks willing to lend on this scheme
  • Strict criteria means you may not qualify
  • Limited to new build properties initially, which are often sold at a premium and are subject to high competition

Why The Mortgage Store?

Exclusive rates you won’t get directly from lenders

With you every step of the way

A trusted name for years