The government plan to deliver 200,000 pledged starter homes did not result in any homes being built says NAEA Propertymark, following statistics released from the National Audit Office (NAO).
The plan, which was announced in 2014, aimed at providing properties at a 20% discount to buyers under the age of 40.
Legislation to take the project forward was not passed, and planning guidance was never put through Parliament, despite expectations that it would happen in 2019. As a result, even new homes meeting the intended specifications cannot be marketed as starter homes.
David Cameron committed to the scheme in the 2015 Conservative Party manifesto as a way to “tackle a crisis in affordable housing”. Propertymark said the project should have also supported the wider growth and regeneration of surrounding areas, with the homes built by the end of the decade.
Propertymark said that the NAO found the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government had acquired, and prepared sites intended for the project – spending almost £174m between 2015 and 2018.
The sites in Plymouth, Bury, Basildon, Stockport, Bridgwater, Cinderford, and Bristol are now being used for general housing, only some of which is affordable.
NAEA Propertymark chief executive, Mark Hayward, said: “It is important that government pledges are honoured. We believe the best way to increase housing supply is to encourage the building of every type of home, and we support any creation of homes that addresses a specific market demand.
“The next government must make sure that they fully consider the impact of any pledges they make.”