June 19, 2019
The Council of Mortgage Lenders recently announced the number of first time buyers reached a five year high in the first two months of the year.
Perhaps surprisingly, first-time buyers accounted for 43% of all house purchase loans in February. Does this signal an end to the myth of would-be buyers struggling to get a foot on the property ladder?
We are now seeing more lenders offering mortgages giving buyers a route to their first home and the figures are up 17% from the same period last year.
This encouraging news goes hand in hand with two schemes announced by the government in last month’s budget in an attempt to get the housing market moving.
Help to buy scheme
The ‘Help to Buy’ scheme offers loans worth up to 20% of the price of a new build property. Along with your 5% deposit, this allows buyers access to mortgages which will only lend up to 75% of the property value.
The second scheme, to be launched next year will see the government guaranteeing up to 15% of a loan to the lender.
Whilst these schemes will open up even more mortgage offers to enable first time buyers to get the foot on the property ladder and are clearly great news for the housing market as a whole, a note of caution should be sounded.
Let us remind ourselves how the last credit crisis started. You guessed it – the property bubble burst.
Experts warn that the chancellor's package of measures to boost the property market could instead stoke another housing bubble and leave taxpayers exposed to a future downturn in prices.
Some political figures take a different approach by suggesting the best way to tackle the housing crisis and help first-time buyers is to have a major programme of affordable house building.
However, it is clear that steps are being taken to address the problems. Here in Pudsey, we are seeing a number of new housing estates – both large and small - springing up. Hopefully this demonstrates the optimism is well placed and there is light at the end of the tunnel for first time buyers.