20 September 2019

Welcome uplift in first-time buyer numbers

New figures from UK Finance reveal a welcome uplift in first-time buyer numbers in July compared with the same month last year. First-time buyers are so important for the overall health of the housing market as second steppers and beyond can move on up the ladder only once someone has bought their property.

The growth in number of first-time buyers partly reflects lender efforts to offer products with high loan-to-values, as well as innovative deals which allow parental assistance. Halifax is the latest lender to launch such a product where parents can offset their savings against their offspring’s mortgage, and get them back at a later date, rather than hand them over in the form of a deposit. Even though property prices have fallen in some areas, the Bank of Mum and Dad is clearly busier than ever, helping their children with that all-important deposit, a family assistance scheme or via a joint borrower sole proprietor mortgage.

UK Finance also reported that the buy-to-let sector is demonstrating some resilience, despite significant tax and regulatory changes, with a 5.5 per cent uplift in new buy-to-let home purchases compared with July last year. Clearly, investors are still keen on bricks and mortar where they can find the right opportunity.