Property in: LONDON

First Homes Scheme

What is the First Homes scheme? First Homes is the new government policy that offers first-time property buyers (FTBs) in England, including London, to buy a new build home with up to a 50% discount. In our catalogue you can see all offers of new homes near you on a map - see homes near me. Or read this article to the end and find out more about the scheme.

This discount permanently applies to the new home, meaning that the property can be resold only to similar new first-time buyers who will get the same discount. This is set to reduce the demand and increase your profit potential.

Eligibility Criteria for the First Homes scheme

Who qualifies for the First Homes scheme, and which new build properties can FTBs purchase with a discount?

  • You have to be at least 18 years old.
  • You must be a first-time property buyer.
  • You are able to get a mortgage for at least 50% of the home value.
  • Your yearly income is less than £80,000 (£90,000 for London buyers).

Besides, local councils may set additional requirements for the buyers and give priority to:

  • Essential workers
  • People living in that area of the desired home
  • Buyers with lower-end income

Note that armed forces and their families are exempt from the additional council requirements if they meet certain conditions. Check more at

Which new builds are suitable for the First Homes scheme?

There are strict eligibility requirements for the new build properties under the First Homes scheme. A property can be:

  • A new build home delivered by a developer
  • A new home from someone else who bought it via the scheme
  • Post-discount price cannot exceed £250,000 (£420,000 in London)

How does the government's First Homes scheme work?

A buyer looks for suitable new build homes in the desired area. Developers typically advertise if a home is suitable for the First Homes scheme to help buyers know their options.

Such homes are sold with a discount between 30% and 50% of the market value. Each property is valued by an independent surveyor who checks that the discount is based on the real market price.

How does the First Homes Scheme Purchase Go?

There are several steps that an aspiring FTB has to take to buy a new build via the First Homes scheme.

Step 1 – Find a suitable new home 

First, a buyer finds a suitable new property for the scheme. 1newhomes allows users to see current offers from all new-build developers across London to help ambitious buyers. We continually update our catalogue, so buyers can find all First Homes properties in London.

Step 2 –  Getting a mortgage in principle

A buyer needs a mortgage in principle (AIP) to reserve a property. Be sure to have a professional broker who finds the most attractive offers for you.

Step 3 – Contacting the developer

Once you find a suitable home and have an AIP, contact the developer (or estate agent) and fill in the application that is sent to the local council. Also, you will need to pay a fee if you buy a new build. If the application is successful, you proceed to the next steps. If not, you get the fee back.

Step 4 – Conveyancing

The next step is to hire a conveyancer, a solicitor that assists you with the purchase. Make sure you and the solicitor are following local council requirements.

Step 5 –  Getting Authority to Proceed

If your application is successful, you will receive an Authority to Proceed and Eligibility Certificate. You give them to your conveyancer and lender (or broker), so they can start the final stage of the process.

First Homes Stamp Duty Land Tax

Note that you still have to pay the SDLT for your First Homes property. The amount is based on the post-discount price.

Available First Homes Scheme Property In London

The First Homes scheme only launched in the Summer of 2021, and the range of participating new developments is limited. In fact, there are currently no offers in London. But as the Help-to-Buy scheme ends in early 2023, this is very likely to change, as well as the number of lenders offering First Homes mortgages.

New homes in London

All new homes →

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the advantages of the First Homes scheme?

There are multiple pros to buying a new home via First Homes. Most importantly, the scheme allows stepping onto a property ladder with a small deposit and save a lot on the market value.

What is the price threshold for First Homes In London?

The final price (after the discount) cannot exceed £420,000 in London (250,000 in other regions).

How do you apply for the First Homes scheme?
  • Identify builders and developments participating in the First Homes scheme;
  • Get in touch with the builder to ascertain whether you meet all eligibility criteria mentioned in the First Home scheme;
  • If you meet the requirements, the builder will assist you in submitting your application to the local authority.
What Happens When I Come To Sell my First Homes’ Dwelling?

The First Home discount applies to the property during its initial purchase. It remains tied to the property during subsequent resales. The eligibility criteria remain the same, and when you decide to sell your home, you must sell it to another first-time buyer who meets the scheme's criteria. The new buyer will also benefit from the akin discount you received earlier.

Are There Priorities for Receiving First Home Discounts?

Yes, there are priorities in giving First Home discounts based on local eligibility criteria set by councils. For instance, some councils may prioritize the following groups:

- Key Workers: As defined by the council.
- Local Residents: People who already live in the area.
- Lower Income Individuals: Those on lower incomes.

If you’re purchasing with others, all buyers must meet any local income criteria, but only one person needs to meet other local criteria. These local priorities are applicable only during the first three months that a property is on sale.

Are there any exemptions to the key worker or local residency requirements for First Home discounts?

Yes, there are specific exemptions for members of the armed forces and their families. If you fall into any of the following categories, you do not need to be a key worker or live in the area to qualify for First Home discounts:

- Current Members of the Armed Forces: Serving personnel are exempt from these criteria.
- Former Spouses or Civil Partners: If you are divorced or separated from a member of the armed forces, you are still eligible.
- Widows or Widowers: If your spouse or civil partner's death was caused wholly or partly by their military service, you are exempt.
- Veterans: Those who left the armed forces within the last five years also qualify for this exemption.

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