Londoners will get ‘first dibs’ on new-build homes worth up to £350,000 in the capital, mayor Sadiq Khan has announced.

Khan’s housing scheme aims to stop foreign investors snapping up new properties at the expense of London residents.

Under plans unveiled by City Hall, sales of low-cost housing will be restricted to only UK-based buyers for three months.

After the three-month window passes, foreign buyers will then to able to make offers.

The ‘first dibs’ scheme is backed by London’s property developers, Berkeley Homes, as well as leading housing associations.

However, the scheme is voluntary, meaning housing developers are under no obligation to take part.

The Mayor said he was “alarmed” that many new-build homes were being sold of foreign buyers “before Londoners even knew they were available”.

He added: “I am determined we take meaningful steps to help Londoners buy more new homes they can afford, and the offer from across the housing industry will mean we can move quickly to make this a reality for our city.”

Caroline Pidgeon, a London Assembly Member for the Liberal Democrats, claimed Mr Khan’s initiative would not be widely taken up by the housing industry.

She said: “He might boast that the scheme is different to the past but he can’t hide from his scheme’s low take up.

“The ultimate issue is that first dibs on new homes means little in practice if an insufficient number of homes are actually being built in the first place.”

Jonny Britton, co-founder and CEO of LandInsight, a tech company aiming to tackle the housing crisis, said Mr Khan needed to do more for aspiring home-owners.

He told City News: “Although Khan’s pledge to allocate housing to those who need it is welcome, the voluntary aspect limits its potential impact.

“More importantly, It fails to address the real issue. There are not enough homes being built.

“To truly impact the current housing crisis we need to empower property developers to build more, faster.”

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