British first-time buyer numbers on the rise

British first-time buyer numbers on the rise

It's been just over a year and a half now since the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) recommendations became regulation, with lenders told that they had to scrutinise more deeply when deciding to give the green light on a mortgage. 

It was feared that looking deeper into spending habits and general outgoings would leave many first timers to the market unable to obtain the mortgage they need to get a footing on the property ladder. However, 18 months in, and with property prices having climbed relentlessly in this period to boot, the number of first-time buyers is actually still on the rise. 

According to the latest report released this week by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), the number of first-time buyers who are making purchases now make up 29 per cent of all house sales, compared to 20 per cent in August, showing impressive growth of nine percentage points month-on-month. 

"It’s obviously very positive to see that the number of sales being made to first-time buyers has risen this month. We saw an average nine sales going through per branch in September, which means that for each branch, around three sales were made to the group," said Mark Hayward, NAEA managing director. 

He said that far from the MMR recommendations harming the market, the last year has seen a whole host of new, competitive and affordable mortgages becoming available for younger people around the UK. This has helped to keep the volume of first timers coming to market high during a time when people had feared it would fall. 

The next step in making sure we have a sustained level of new buyers in the market, according to Mr Hayward, is to ensure that there is a decent supply of affordable homes for younger buyers to help meet demand. This would ensure that prices do not jump in a way that restricts the ability of young buyers to get a footing on the ladder.