Prepare For The Return Of The First Time Buyer

Date Published 22 September 2011

More than eight out of ten young people (aged 18-24) still aspire to own their own home by the time they are 30, according to the quarterly consumer survey published by the Building Societies Association.

Among potential first-time buyers overall, more than nine in ten (94%) respondents say that they would ideally have bought by the time they are 35 with more than seven in ten (75%) having an aspiration to become a homeowner in their twenties.

"Property Tracker", which reports the views of more than 2000 UK adults about the housing market every three months, also highlights a sharp jump in the number of people who see raising a deposit as a barrier to home ownership, up from 62% in June to 69% in September, the highest percentage reported for this factor since the survey began in June 2008.

Conversely, only 16% of respondents said that they were concerned about future falls in house prices, down from 51% in September 2008 and 27% this time last year. In fact, almost one in four of those questioned (39%) thought that property prices would rise over the coming 12 months, with 26% believing that they would fall. The median forecast is for house prices to remain flat for the next 12 months.

According to Karen Marshall, Lesters recommended Mortgage Adviser, "The availability of mortgage finance has improved recently, and some lenders are now offering higher loan-to-value ratio loans tailored specifically to the first time buyer market.'

"As an example, we have recently launched a First Time Buyer mortgage with no arrangement fees, interest rate fixed at just 4.95% until November 2013, and even a £250 cashback on completion."

Matthew Nash of Lesters adds 'With attractive mortgage schemes available of up to 90% of the purchase price, and the continuing Government incentive of waived Stamp Duty on properties under £250,000 for first time buyers, this is a great time to buy.'

'Rental prices have increased by about 10% recently, which means that the monthly cost of renting is now broadly similar to the monthly cost of buying a property with a 90% mortgage. Potential first time buyers now have a clear choice. Pay off someone else's mortgage by renting, or pay off your own and eventually own the property outright.'

Karen Marshall can be contacted at Lesters on 01235 519888 or 01491 824000.