While the support was widely welcomed, concerns were raised about the pace of the changes and how they would be funded.
Tim Bannister, Director of Property Science at Rightmove, said: “The next generation of first-time buyers now have to raise more than 50% more down payment than they did a decade ago, while average salaries have not only increased by 35%.
“That’s before you consider whether you’ll be able to get a mortgage because right now if you’re buying on your own you would need a large deposit of over 30% to be able to borrow enough. to buy a typical first-time buyer home.
“If a review of the mortgage market could help with the challenge of needing such a large deposit, it would be very welcome by those who are able to demonstrate that they can afford monthly payments, but who are currently excluded from home ownership.”
Although competition between buyers is now starting to ease, Bannister said demand still massively outstrips supply in many parts of the UK.
He added: “It has already pushed prices to record highs, so the challenge for first-time buyers to raise a down payment is not going to get any easier.
“The review will take time and therefore no solution will help in the short term, so as the cost of living rises more people are likely to look further afield in cheaper areas to climb the ladder. “
Iain McKenzie, chief executive of the Guild of Property Professionals, said: ‘We welcome any changes from government that will help put more people in a position to become homeowners.
“As the Prime Minister has said, potential first-time buyers are aiming for a moving target with rising house prices, rising interest rates and the cost of living crisis weighing on their ability to afford one foot on the property ladder.
“Many are already paying rent that would match their mortgage repayments, however, many have been hampered by deposit requirements and meeting mortgage approval criteria. Wider access to low-cost, low-deposit financing options will help pave the way for more buyers to buy their first home.
Clive Betts, chair of the Upgrading, Housing and Communities Committee (LUHC), said more clarity was needed on the Right to Buy measures.
He said: ‘The Prime Minister must make it clear that if the government pursues the extension of the right to buy for those who rent properties from housing associations, it is vital that money returns to the social housing system in order that new houses can be built. available for rental and purchase at low prices.
“The success of an extended right to purchase policy will surely depend on the replacement of the houses sold and the maintenance of the housing supply. I hope the government will explain how this policy will safeguard the supply of accessible and affordable housing, especially affordable rental housing. »
Betts said details were needed on how the right to buy extension and housing association home replacements would be funded.
He added: “The government should commit to ensuring that existing social housing is replaced as is – a house sold should not be replaced by an apartment.
“The government will also have to explain how it will overcome the legal hurdles of forcing housing associations, which are independent bodies, to sell their assets.
“The government should also indicate whether it intends to require the agreement of housing associations for the implementation of this policy.”
David Woolman, director of property developer Woolbro Group, suggested these plans barely qualified as a band-aid.
He said: “Reactionary short-term thinking has led the government to rely on Thatcherite policies in an effort to emulate the electoral successes of the past. In real terms, however, extending the right to buy will do next to nothing to tackle the UK’s severe housing shortage.
“We’re just not building new houses to meet the demand. Serious, long-term solutions to turning Britain into a nation of landlords seem to have been abandoned.
“More worryingly, the government continues to turn a blind eye to the construction crisis. Material costs are skyrocketing to the point that it’s getting dangerously close to the inability of developers to make new housing projects viable.
“Unless a support program for the UK housing sector is put in place – particularly for small and medium-sized developers – the number of new homes coming onto the market over the next few years will decline to damaging levels. .
“The government would do well to consider how future generations of voters will interpret today’s inaction when they are almost completely shut out of the housing market.”
Jeremy Leaf, a North London estate agent and former RICS residential chairman, said: “In theory, I understand the logic behind the attempt to cut the benefits bill. But it relies on the fact that the prices of real estate continues to rise quite rapidly, which is not comforting for those who are not on the scale and yearn to get there at some point in the near future.
“The other point is that it relies on lenders supporting borrowers who are on benefits, because they are often the ones who struggle not just to collect deposits, but to make repayments.
“They often have lower salaries and struggle to make ends meet, so would lenders accept them from a business perspective without some sort of guarantee from the government that they will honor their repayments?
“I think it’s bluff and bluster; as is often the case, we need a lot more detail.
“There has been talk of replacing the housing association properties that are lost, but we want to see more details on where they are, what type of property and will it be one for one?
“There must also be a commitment to longer-term rentals that will never be sold, as those with families and young children need to be assured that they have a place for life, providing security for more long term.
“In politics, people tell us that the two things that matter in voting are jobs and homes. If they have trouble finding or keeping one or the other, the government tends to be blamed rather than the employer or lender. Obviously, houses should be a priority. for the government.”
JLL also had its own concerns.
Marcus Dixon, director of UK residential research at JLL, said: ‘Housing associations are unlikely to be able to offer sufficient discounts and replace like-for-like stock without the support of the government.
“Even without the right to buy housing, associations are under significant financial pressure.
“Along with investing to improve their current portfolio, they will need to ensure all remediation work is done to address cladding and fire safety, as well as initiate plans to achieve zero carbon targets by 2050.
“Not to mention the additional investments to increase the size of their rental portfolio.
“At JLL, we are committed to promoting the delivery of more homes across all tenures. Providing better access to home ownership should certainly not be discouraged, but the UK also needs to improve the delivery and financing of affordable rental housing.
Karen Noye, mortgage expert at Quilter, said it’s not the mortgage industry that needs fixing, but the housing market and its sky-high prices, which could be helped by building more homes.
She said: “Time and time again we have seen government housing programs fall very far off the mark, however well-intentioned. A good example is Help to Buy, which for some has been disastrous and has helped to fill the pockets of home builders without actually helping as many people as desired.
“At the end of the day, we just need to build new homes in areas where people really want to live rather than soulless developments outside the city.
“Doing that would be much more powerful than tinkering with ways to help people finance their first homes.”