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The number of first time buyers in the UK reached their highest level in July since the recession, paying an average of £161,985, some 8.9% more than a year ago, according to the latest index. There were 29,700 sales of homes to first time buyers, some 4.9% above June with demand judges to be rising to an expected interest rate rise in the New year and despite the fact that the average first time buyer now needs a deposit of £27,975. July’s sales figure also represents a 28% rise on April 2015, amounting to a 6,500 increase over the last three months, the latest First Time Buyer Tracker index from Your Move and Reeds Rains also shows. Average deposits have increased by 10% compared with July 2014’s figure of £25,429 which in cash terms, this equates to a rise of £2,546. The cost of a deposit as a proportion of a first time buyer’s average income reached 71.6% in July, up 3.1% in one month alone and rising 5.4% from a year ago. Equally, the average first time buyer Loan to Value ratio (LTV), which represents the proportional size of an individual’s loan compared to the value of the property they are buying, is steadily dropping. This means first time buyers are having to pay more up front, in the form of larger deposits. July’s rate of 82.7% represents a 0.5% decrease on LTVs in June and a 0.2% decrease on a year ago, as the size of the average deposit rises. A similar picture emerges in the latest Mortgage Monitor from e.surv. The data revealed a decline in the number of small deposit loans given approval in July, dropping 5.9% compared to June and 7.1% compared to July 2014. According to Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, the post general election bounce has given way to a more stable optimism as first time buyers realise that the property market is at no immediate risk of being tampered with by the government. ‘Incentives attractive to first time buyers such as the Help to Buy schemes are running along steadily, while further low cost housing development is being encouraged to entice more people onto the ladder,’ he said. ‘This month’s particularly high transaction rate is also partially due to expectations that the Bank of England may announce a rate rise sooner rather than later. The thought of months of rock-bottom mortgage rates being brought to an end is encouraging many wavering first time buyers to jump on the property ladder before repayment costs shoot up,’ he pointed out. ‘Some may have held back briefly when considering the rising deposit costs. But real wages have been growing too, and first time buyers are able to shoulder the short term burden of a slightly higher deposit to spare the risk of losing out on a good mortgage deal,’ he added. Despite some lenders starting to withdraw their cheapest deals, the… Continue reading →
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