Is more work needed to entice first-time buyers?

Is more work needed to entice first-time buyers?

Over the course of the last few years, there have been various incentives and lifelines offered from the government in a bid to entice people to purchase their first home. But amid a change in sentiment among younger people that has seen more and more move towards rental property, is there more work needed from parliament in order to get more first-timers onto the property ladder?

According to the latest report released on the issue of ownership from private mortgage insurer Genworth, there is now a severe shortage of first-time buyers getting themselves a home, with some areas of the UK now seeing a severe fall in the volume of newcomers. 

It said that in the south-east, for example, the number of new buyers has continued to fall in every year since the financial crisis hit in 2007. Genworth said this means there's a shortfall of some 310,000 in the volume of buyers in this area as a result. 

The north-west has also suffered in recent years, with the number of new buyers per year on average having halved since the financial crisis. Genworth's report said that this shows the area, which includes cities such as Manchester and Liverpool, has seen a shortage in the last few years of some 180,000 in terms of first-time buyers. 

Even London has seen a small drop in the number of newcomers to the market, although compared to the rest of the UK it has shown a real resilience as buyers continue to come to market. Since the financial crisis, it has seen a fall of just a quarter on average per year. Although this is a positive, it does indicate that the government could be doing more to make sure young people are able to get themselves onto the property ladder. 

"Tougher regulation and higher capital requirements for lenders as a result of the recession have accelerated the fall in homeownership and dramatically reduced the number of people, especially younger households, who are able to buy their first home," said Simon Crone, vice president for mortgage insurance Europe at Genworth.

He went on to say that there's a real need for a cohesive plan from regulators on how they can help attract more people across the UK to buy their own home in order to make sure the property market remains strong.