Assembly Member, Mohammad Asghar writes about Home Ownership in Wales for the South Wales Argus

It is the aspiration of most people in Wales to own their own home.

Home ownership is about independence and self-reliance.

It is about handing down to your children a valuable asset to give them a great start in life.

Take up of Welsh Government schemes, such as Home Buy, Rent First and Help to Buy, have been disappointing.

And now Welsh Labour plan to abolish the Right to Buy and the Right to Acquire in Wales.

Welsh Conservatives will not deny those who wish to, the chance of home ownership.

That is why we are proposing a package of measures to help first time buyers.

Plans that will assist first time buyers to buy their own home and will relieve their financial burden in the first months of ownership.

Stamp Duty is one of the additional costs faced by home buyers.

Under the current system Stamp Duty is not payable on property purchases of less than one hundred and twenty five thousand pounds.

Under our proposals stamp duty would be exempt on property purchases worth up to two hundred and fifty thousand pounds.

This would save the average first time buyer one hundred and forty pounds.

Having bought their home many people face a period of having to adjust their household budgets accordingly.

As an attempt to relieve the financial burden during this period we would introduce a six month council tax holiday.

Council Tax rates have soared in Wales compared to England where the UK Government has frozen council tax rates.

The average Band D council tax demand has more than doubled in Wales since 1999.

A council tax holiday would save an average first time buyer in Newport five hundred and seventy six pounds.

This represents real help and support in the vital first months of home ownership.

We would work with the housing sector and seek opportunities for the further development of Rent to Buy, shared ownership and mortgage guarantee schemes.

And we would extend the Right to Buy in Wales and not scrap it, investing all the sale proceeds in to providing new social housing.

First time buyers are finding it increasing difficult to get on the housing ladder.

Our proposals represent a comprehensive package of support that is good for families, good for communities and good for the Welsh economy.