First-time buyers under the age of 40 in England can now register to buy new homes at a discount of up to 20% off the normal price.
The offer is part of the government's new "starter homes" scheme to encourage home ownership and construction on previously used "brownfield" land.
The gap between the most expensive and the cheapest regional average house prices in England and Wales is more than £350,000, figures show.
Average property prices in London were £458,283 in London compared with £97,974 in the North East of England in January, Land Registry data shows.
Homes in Oxford are now less affordable to local people than those in any other part of Britain, changing hands for for than 16 times local wages, according to analysis by a leading academic.
Research by Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder professor of geography at the University of Oxford, showed that prices have risen rapidly in the city, pushing property even further from the reach of would-be buyers.
UK property sales fell in January, dropping by 6% compared with a year ago, but estate agents' views vary on the significance of the decrease.
Transactions totalled 97,320 in January, according to the latest seasonally-adjusted figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
The number of homes repossessed by lenders last year fell to their lowest level since 2006.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) says repossessions fell by 26% to just 21,000, with mortgage arrears also falling to an eight-year low.
The improvement was attributed to the rising levels of employment and continuing low interest rates.
The government's flagship planning policy has seen "inappropriate and unwanted" housing development spring up across England, MPs have said.
Rules allowing shops and offices to be converted without planning permission should be scrapped, the Communities and Local Government Committee urged.
It said the National Planning Policy Framework left High Streets unprotected against out-of-town store developments.
The annual rise in UK house prices slowed in October, official figures show, but prices still went up much faster than the general cost of living.
UK property prices increased by 10.4% annually in October, down from 12.1% the previous month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
The average home in the UK was valued at £271,000, the ONS said.
The biggest-ever monthly drop in asking prices was reported by Rightmove this morning.
However, the portal measured 76,823 asking prices of properties put on sale by agents from November 9 to December 7 – almost every single one of which would have been priced before George Osborne’s SDLT reforms on December 3.
The average asking price was £258,424, down nearly £9,000 or 3.3% on the previous month’s figure of £267,127.
A scheme offering first-time buyers under the age of 40 a discount of at least 20% on newbuild homes is set to go live in the new year, the government announced on Monday.
The Starter Home initiative will offer 100,000 properties at a discount, but the saving will be made possible by changes to the planning system and will come at the cost of affordable housing.
How much would a tenant have to pay to secure a £1,000-a-month flat through estate agents Foxtons? A total of £420, while the landlord would have to pay another £2,448 for Foxtons to find the tenant and manage the property for a year. It is these sorts of extraordinary fees, common across the fast-growing lettings industry, that are (finally) provoking a revolution in new online players, and that will see high street estate and letting agents go the same way as Blockbuster, HMV and Lunn Poly – business models blown apart by the internet.
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