BURY has been named as an area in which discounted starter homes for first-time buyers must be created as soon as possible.

The town was highlighted by experts urging the government to put into action the plans to help boost housing supply nationwide.

Housing minister Gavin Barwell has announced that 2017 will see the first phase of starter homes being built on brownfield sites in 30 local authority areas around England.

Mr Barwell said: “This Government is committed to building starter homes to help young first-time buyers get on the housing ladder.

“This first wave of partnerships shows the strong local interest to build thousands of starter homes on hundreds of brownfield sites in the coming years.

“One in three councils has expressed an interest to work with us so far.”

The first 30 local authorities, including Bury and Bolton, were selected on the basis of their potential to build the homes quickly and the partnerships have been established under the Government’s £1.2 billion Starter Homes Land Fund.

The exact figure of how many will be built in Bury has not been finalised but the Department for Communities and Local Government said further details would be announced about the plans “in due course”.

It is hoped the new developments will support wider growth and regeneration, including in some town centres.

But some commentators have argued the moves will do little to help those on middle and low incomes.

The houses will be available exclusively to first-time buyers aged from 23 to 40 at a discount of at least 20 per cent below market value, with a cap of £450,000 in London and £250,000 outside of the capital.

However, calculations made by housing charity Shelter suggest that, to afford a starter home in 2020, a typical buyer in England would still need an income of £50,000 and a deposit of £40,000.

Roger Harding, from Shelter, said: “Efforts to build more homes are welcome, but these starter homes are only likely to benefit people who are better off and already close to buying.

“Sadly, they will do little to help the many millions of people on middle and low incomes who need somewhere genuinely affordable to buy or rent long term.”

The average house price for Bury in October last year was £154,000 while figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal, in England, the average price of a home was £233,000.

Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show first-time buyers typically borrow around three and-a-half times their income and are aged 30.

Asked whether there would be a loan-to-income cap for mortgages offered under the initiative, a spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said further details would be announced about the plans “in due course”.

Rachel Springall, a finance expert at website Moneyfacts, said: “There is still so much more that needs to be done to fix the housing crisis.

“First-time buyers are struggling to amass a large enough deposit, particularly if they are paying out a considerable sum on rent each month.”