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New cities 'will not have affordable housing quotas'

Developers behind the cluster of garden cities in the south east would not have to meet an affordable housing quota, despite Nick Clegg's claims the developments would offer low-cost accommodation, it has emerged.

Read: Clegg wants 'three new garden cities' in the south east

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There will be no affordable housing quotas in the new garden cities, the Government confirmed. Credit: PA

Communities minister Nick Boles, said the Government would "not impose a particular level of affordable housing for housing schemes," when quizzed by Labour.

"Unrealistic Section 106 agreements [which specify how many affordable homes should be built] result in no development, no regeneration and no community benefits," he added.

Nick Clegg said the new cities containing 15,000 homes each would create "an arc of prosperity" in the South East.

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government confirmed there were no Whitehall targets for the number of affordable homes in garden cities.

Read: 'Major concern' over lack of homes as sales hit 6 year high

Tougher mortgage checks expected for new applicants

People applying for a mortgage are facing tougher affordability checks which delve into their spending habits on outgoings ranging from childcare, travel and clothing to wine clubs and even a flutter on the horses.

The higher hurdles are being put in place as lenders gear up for new rules which come into force on Saturday under the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), which aim to prevent any return to irresponsible lending.

Tougher mortgage checks expected for people applying. Credit: PA

Experts are warning people that they may want to consider reining back on their spending several months before applying for a mortgage, as providers will want to sift through around three months of bank statements "with a fine tooth comb".

The new industry-wide rules mean mortgage providers have to take a much keener interest in an applicant's regular outgoings, which could include what they spend on food, household bills, loans, credit cards and leisure activities, in order to weigh up whether or not they can afford their home loan.

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Govt: 'We're far from complacent' on rent rises

The Government has claimed it is "far from complacent" about the cost of rent, but argued the slowing in the rise of accommodation costs showed their long-term economic plan was working.

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said:

Today's figures clearly show how our long-term economic plan is working, with more properties being made available to rent, meaning more choice for tenants and average rents down compared to last month.

But we're far from complacent and with millions of people renting privately we're working to expand the sector even further.

– Kris Hopkins

South West has 'strongest annual rise in rent'

Renters in the South West have seen their accommodation costs rise most in the last twelve months, according to data from a major lettings network.

LSL Property Services said there was 5.2% rise in the average rent in the South West of England.

They also found:

  • Average monthly rent in the South West was now £664.
  • The east of England has seen the sharpest fall, down by 3.6% over the course of twelve months and taking typical rents there to £713.
  • London rents rose by 1.3% over the last year to reach £1,121 on average.
  • Rent in Wales have fallen by 2.0% annually to around £556.

Read: Report: Rents rise by smallest amount in four years

Report: Rents rise by smallest amount in four years

Rent has risen by its smallest amount in four years, with more people jumping on the property ladder, a major lettings networks has reported.

Read: CAB: More homeowners at risk of losing property

For rent sign
The rise in rents have slowed to their lowest rate in four years, according to figures from LSL. Credit: PA

Read: Payday loans 'used to fund rent and mortgages'

The average rent across England and Wales has increased by just 0.9% over the last year, according to LSL Property Services.

However, this rise still pushes the average monthly rent up to £741.

The proportion of tenants' rent which is late or unpaid has dropped back from 8.5% a year ago to 7.8%, which LSL said was a further signs household finances were improving.

Read: Third of Brits 'worry they will never be able to buy a home'

Vince Cable to appear on The Agenda tonight

Business Secretary Vince Cable will appear on The Agenda tonight. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, will join ITV News Political Editor Tom Bradby on The Agenda tonight.

Also on the panel will be the children's author Michael Morpurgo, the novelist and columnist Allison Pearson and the actress and writer Emma Kennedy.

They will be discussing bad behaviour in schools, the housing crisis and ageism.

The Agenda with Tom Bradby is on ITV tonight at 10:35pm.

Get involved in the debate during the show using the hashtag #theagenda and following @agendaitv.

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Govt 'ready and willing' for radical housing alternatives

Nick Clegg is expected to announce the Government is "ready and willing" to listen to radical alternatives in order to build three garden cities, as the Coalition try to end the housing crisis.

The Deputy Prime Minister will say the Government is open to ideas like "removing barriers to acquiring land or attracting private finance," at his monthly press conference held later today.

I also expect some areas will want to innovate in ways which we have not anticipated, so we are ready and willing to consider any other ways government can support the delivery of garden cities, for example by removing barriers to acquiring land or attracting private finance.

I'm clear that local communities developing new garden cities is an essential part of the solution to providing affordable homes to live in, building a stronger economy and a fairer society, where every person can get on in life.

– Nick Clegg

Read: Clegg to announce funds for 'three new garden cities'

Clegg to announce funds for 'three new garden cities'

Up to three new garden cities with at least 15,000 homes each will be built to tackle Britain's chronic housing shortage, Nick Clegg will say today.

Read: 'Major concern' over lack of homes as sales hit 6 year high

Nick Clegg
Any developments must have full backing from the local council, the Government said. Credit: PA

Read: At £7,000 is this Britain's cheapest house?

The Deputy Prime Minister will issue a "call to arms for visionaries" to put forward radical plans to help first time buyers onto the housing market as he announces the publication of a prospectus inviting bids from councils.

The Lib Dem leader is expected to announce £2.4bn in funding from an existing pot which will be made available for housing developments up until 2020.

Officials were keen to stress that the new cities would not be imposed on communities and must have local support and full backing from councils.

The winning locations will be commercially viable and have good transport links.

Read: Cable: Home ownership 'unaffordable' for families

'Major concern' over lack of homes despite rising demand

House sales have climbed to their highest levels in six years as the market shows increasing signs of life across the country, warn the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The RICS also believes it will become much harder for people to get onto the property ladder unless more houses are built.

ITV News's Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports from Leicester.

More: Government: 'Housing market has turned a corner'

Scotiabank: RICS survey 'consistent' with 15% inflation

House sales have climbed to their highest levels in six years as the market shows increasing signs of life across the country.

ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills has tweeted:

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Scotiabank has looked at RICS survey and calculates "consistent with 15% year on year house price inflation".

Read more: 'Major concern' over lack of homes as sales hit 6 year high

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