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People aged in their thirties are dominating the first time buyer market in the UK with those who are younger prices out of the market, according to a new report from the National Association of Real Estate Agents (NAEA). Overall the number of first time buyers is up from previous month sales, from 20% in July 2014 to 28% in August, the highest percentage of FTBs recorded since April 2014 but the number of buyers aged 18 to 30 remains at an all-time low at just 3% of recorded sales for August NAEA agents agree prospective interest rate rises will affect demand in the property market which will not help younger buyers who are already out of the housing market. While the number of sales made to those aged between 18 to 30 remained low, sales to those aged 31 to 40 were the highest recorded for the month, with almost half, 45%, of homes sold being bought by those in this age bracket. The figures suggest that the majority of first time buyers fall into the latter group, as high house prices price the younger generation out of the market. The report also found that most buyers, some 90%, bought as couples, with just 7% buying alone. Although the overall rise in the first time market is a positive, nearly 90% of NAEA agents believe the foreseen rise in interest rates will affect the demand for property in some way, with another 39% of members already claiming to see signs of demand dropping off. ‘Reports from our members suggest that the high house prices of the current housing market are still proving a barrier for the younger generation. It is evident that first time buyers are indeed getting older,’ said Mark Hayward, NAEA managing director. ‘With the majority of home buyers this month aged 31 to 40, this suggests some correlation between the increase in the first time buyer market and this age group. It is concerning at the lack of young people unable to buy their first home before the age of thirty, having to rent or stay at home for longer in order to save,’ he pointed out. ‘While the increase in first time buyers is a positive, what could be a worry for home buyers is the prospective interest rate rise that’s on the horizon. If interest rates do rise, the majority of NAEA members agreed that this will affect the demand for property, as prospective buyers are discouraged by the cost of borrowing,’ he explained. ‘In addition first time buyers need to be careful they can afford their mortgage, as interest rates could significantly push-up repayments, putting pressure on household budgets,’ he added. The report also shows that in terms of housing stock for August, this month saw a decrease in the average number of properties available per NAEA member branch. Available properties decreased to an average of 49 per NAEA member branch, compared to 51 in July 2014. At the same time, the average… Continue reading →
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