A Labour government would scrap stamp duty for first-time buyers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on homes worth less than £300,000.
The stimulus for first-time buyer would stay in place for three years and forms part of a package of measures that would also give local people who lived in an area for three years "first call" on half of new homes in their area.
Labour leader Ed Miliband said he would also introduce tax measures to help prevent foreign buyers from buying properties ahead of local people.
The stamp duty "holiday" on purchases would save the average qualifying first-time buyer around £5,000 and would cost a Labour Government £225m.
Miliband said the change will benefit nine in ten first-time buyers. The average price paid for a first home was £205,000 in February, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.
The plan would be funded by a clampdown on landlords who avoid tax, a cut in tax relief for landlords failing to maintain properties and increased taxes for foreign property investors.
Those from outside the EU would see stamp duty rise by at least 3%.
Taylor Wimpey said it has enjoyed a strong start to the Spring selling season in spite of a looming uncertain General Election.
In a trading statement this morning the firm said buyer confidence remained high underpinned by good mortgage availability and employment prospects.
Pete Redfern, chief executive, said: “The uncertainty surrounding the general election outcome has not impacted customer confidence, and underlying demand remains high.
“During the first four months of 2015 we have seen the UK housing market continue to grow, with increasingly competitive mortgages and secure employment prospects underpinning homebuyers’ confidence.
“We remain focused on progressing our sites through the planning system to enable us to start on site as soon as possible and remain on track to deliver good progress towards all of our medium term targets in 2015.”
The firm is operating from 302 sites, the same level as last year, with a strong total order book at 8,200 homes (2014 week 16: 8,231 homes), up in value terms by 12% at £1.9bn compared to last year.
Sheffield-based steel products specialist Anco has received its second Queen’s Award for Enterprise in just three years.
The latest award for international trade celebrates its progress in growing sales across new and existing export markets.
In 2012, Ancon won an award for the development of a unique lockable dowel, which has revolutionised post-tensioned concrete construction.
Ancon exports its wide range of high integrity steel fixings throughout Europe, Australasia and North America, and in selected territories of Asia and Africa.
The manufacturer has almost doubled its annual export trade in the past three years, significantly increasing sales even in turbulent economies such as Greece and Russia.
Ancon’s Export Sales Manager, Hervé Poveda, said: “We have increased product sales overseas across our concrete-related range, particularly our reinforcing bar couplers and shear load connectors which includes the new Ancon Lockable Dowel.”
“Over the last three years we have not only developed four new export markets, but have recorded significant growth in almost every one of our more established overseas markets.”
A Conservative government would extend the right-to-buy scheme for housing association tenants in England and use proceeds to in turn support a £1bn Brownfield Regeneration Fund.
David Cameron unveiled the plan in his party’s general election manifesto claiming the funds would channeled into building 80,000-170,000 properties a year.
The Conservatives plan to raise the discount offered to housing association tenants bringing them into line with the 35% standard discount available to council renters.
The government would fund the total cost of discounts offered by forcing local authorities to sell off their most expensive council home when they become vacant. This is expected to raise £4.5bn a year.
Councils would be required to build cheaper homes on a one-to-one basis, backed by the new £1bn Brownfield Regeneration Fund to clean up land and support infrastructure to support housing schemes.
It is forecast that 15,000 homes will be bought and sold each year as a result, with construction of a further 400,000 new homes expected by the end of the next parliament.
Their policy would open the way for 1.3m housing association tenants to buy their homes at a discount.
Presently about 800,000 housing association tenants have a right to acquire their homes but with much smaller discounts than council tenants. Under the new plan rights would be extended to an estimated extra 500,000 people.
New homes "Think Tank", The Futures Group, details how to rise to the challenge of delivering better homes for the consumer.
Contributors to The Futures Group include leading experts from national house builders, manufacturers and regulatory bodies.
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