A good year for first-time buyers

23rd January 2019

A good year for first-time buyers

Beaconsfield and the surrounding area is a very popular place to settle for thousands of London commuters and so we often see people upgrading from their expensive studio flat or room in a shared home in the city. We also see many established families move here from the city looking for more space.

However, last year (2018) was the year of the first-time buyer! Across the country the market saw a huge increase in first-time buyer transactions with half of all homes purchased with a mortgage going to young people taking their first step onto the property ladder. In fact with the number at more than 350k homes, it is the highest level for 12 years and double the total in 2008 (the year of the financial crisis).

Affordability

Saving for a deposit on your first property is still the main obstacle for first time buyers, especially with all the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, but new schemes and legislation has been brought forward by the government in order to help young people get on to the property ladder.

Schemes such as the Help to Buy scheme has now been extended until 2023, this scheme is focussed solely on first-time buyers; and with the introduction of other government initiatives it is looking like the first-time buyer market will go from strength to strength.

We have also seen an increase in the availability of 95% mortgages from certain lenders; however, this has been countered by strict lending criteria which has been met with a certain amount of controversy and resistance, with talk of lenders accepting rental payments as a demonstration of affordability.

Support for first-time buyers

Most of the government schemes are aimed at helping young people take their first steps. The Help to Buy equity loan scheme, the Help to Buy ISA and the stamp duty exemption scheme all aim to get people on to the property ladder.

If you are a first-time buyer, we suggest that now is a pretty good time to buy; sellers are keen to negotiate on price and so, if you have your finances in order there are some very attractive properties available at good prices.

Second steppers

While first-time buyers seem to be reaping the benefits of government help there is rising concern coming from those who are in need of taking their second step on the property ladder. Those young people who bought their first home 3-6 years ago now find themselves in need of more space due to changes in their circumstances.

It is a lesser known fact that taking your second step on the ladder can be as difficult as the first – suddenly there is little or no support – the call on the bank of mum and dad has been used to purchase the first property and the government offers no scheme to help.

Quite often people looking to make the next step find that it is more of a leap and this can result in small growing families living in properties which are no longer suitable for their needs. Things like mortgage lending rules and stamp duty can mean the difference between being able to move and being trapped.

Get in touch

If you are looking to buy your first home why not give us a call and speak to one of our experts about your options. You can call our office on 01494 680018 or email us, you can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

image credit: Monkey Business Images