By Jonathan Davies

Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to build 200,000 starter homes, if the Conservatives win the general election.

It doubles the Tories' previous pledge a 20% discount to 100,000 first-time buyers under the age of 40, which was made in December.

Labour have pledged to build 200,000 homes by 2020 whilst the Liberal Democrats plan to build 300,000.

First-time buyers under the age of 40 in England are now able to register to buy a new home with a 20% discount.

The pledge is part of the government's "starter homes" scheme, which is designed to increase the proportion of people who own their house, rather than rent, and builds homes on "brownfield" land.

The government is paying for the 20% discount by waiving local authority fees for housebuilders.

The discount will apply to homes valued up to £250,000 outside London and £450,000 in the capital. But first-time buyers will have to repay the 20% if they sell the house within five years.

"There is a particular kind of security that comes with having a home - and that's what I want to talk about today," Mr Cameron will say in a speech.

"Too many people have been denied that security. The young people in their 20s and 30s still living with their parents, desperately saving for their own place.

"The couple who want a child but can't afford to upsize - even though they both have full-on, full-time jobs. It shouldn't be this way.

"Our goal is a Britain where everyone who works hard can have a home of their own."

Labour said the government has overseen the lowest levels of house building since the 1920s, and home ownership is at its lowest for three decades.

"Yesterday the Conservative Party chairman went on TV in an effort to convince people they had a plan for housing, but instead, he couldn't answer basic questions about where the money will come from or how their latest pie-in-the-sky scheme will work," Labour leader Ed Miliband will say later.

"In contrast, Labour has a comprehensive housing plan, not unfunded promises."

The number of houses built in the UK fell 0.2% in the final three months of 2014 - the first fall for two years, and it compares with a 6.1% rise in the previous quarter.

But the government claims that construction on 137,000 new homes began in 2014, 10% more than in 2013.