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Green shoots for the housing market as buyers return

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The last two months have been the busiest of 2020, as pent-up demand is released, but first-time buyers have limited choice
Green shoots for the housing market as buyers return

There’s been a 182% increase in first-time buyer mortgage applications in the two months after lockdown was released compared to the previous two months, said Trussle.

The online mortgage adviser also noted a 176% increase in next-time buyer applications over the last two months. Plus sign-up enquiries have increased 35%, with buyers keen to seek out the best possible mortgage rates.

First-time buyer freeze

However, first-time buyers are being hit hardest by lender restrictions.

The volume of first-time buyers currently being disqualified due to high loan-to-value (LTV) is seven times higher than before lockdown, which makes getting on the property ladder more challenging.

Trussle said there’s a very limited range of mortgage products available at the moment for borrowers with lower deposits.

This time last year there were 145 products available for buyers with a 5% deposit, whereas currently there’s only one.

Miles Robinson, head of mortgages at Trussle, said, “Like many other industries, the mortgage market is undoubtedly in a state of flux, with house prices fluctuating and lenders pulling mortgage products.

“But, the more positive news is we’re beginning to see some green shoots. House buying has for decades been a sign of economic recovery and we believe this situation is no different. Estate Agents are recording a real surge in demand for houses . Similarly record interest rates mean there are some great deals for those who are in the right position.

“However, we still need to tread carefully. The stamp duty holiday will undoubtedly add a much needed boost for those who are looking and able to buy. Over time, we hope to see lenders add a wider variety of products to the market to make homeownership more accessible.”

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