THERE are many different opinions on ways to help a first time buyer but you first have to have affordable housing and then answer the next question – what is affordable?

Opinions regarding affordable housing and affordability will vary greatly. My initial suggestions are to get rid of the HIP pack and increase the threshold for stamp duty to £250,000. The next move would be to get the high street banks and mortgage lenders to reduce the size of deposit required and reduce the interest rate applied. I have never understood the concept that a lender should increase the cost of borrowing to people on lower incomes due to some preconceived notion of risk. Lower income, lower rate of interest. This would demonstrate a more caring attitude to those on lower incomes and treat them with respect. There is possibly even a case for increasing the length of term of the mortgage as they do in other countries (99 years or more) to reduce initial costs. Affordable housing can also constitute renting. Equally true is that costs have to be lowered in order to satisfy demand. This then brings us in to a new set of arguments regarding maintenance costs, return on investments for the landlords and right to buy. It is a very difficult subject but it does need to be addressed in an open debate.