First-time Buyers

Access to mortgages deterring first-time buyers

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

More than a third (36 per cent) of UK adults think mortgages are too difficult to obtain by first-time buyers, according to a survey.

Research by Precise Mortgages, part of the 2015 Mortgage Voice report in conjunction with YouGov, found 12 per cent of people believe access to mortgages has improved in the past five years – but not enough.

Only 7 per cent of respondents thought access to mortgages had improved significantly for all.

Half (49 per cent) stated that mortgages were easier to obtain for buyers with large deposits while 27 per cent believed self-employed workers found it more difficult to get a mortgage.

Despite this negative sentiment, the report witnessed improvement in some of the wider issues facing homeowners. Over the past year UK renters, in general, see saving for a deposit (51 per cent), finding an affordable property (41 per cent), and getting a mortgage approved (33 per cent) less of an barrier to owning their own home than in 2014.

However 76 per cent of renters aged between 18 and 24 see saving enough for a deposit as a barrier to owning their own home, while 67 per cent say finding an affordable property is a barrier.

Despite an uphill battle, 41 per cent of those renting aged 18 to 24 still hope to own their own home in the next five years. However, amongst the older demographic the situation differs, with only 14 per cent of renters aged 45 to 54 planning to own a property in the next five years, with the majority (67 per cent) having no aspirations to be a home owner.

Alan Cleary, managing director of Precise Mortgages, said: “Prospective homebuyers are feeling more positive about their ability to save and find an affordable property, but with consumer sentiment towards mortgage accessibility falling in the last year, the industry has a vital job to do in reassuring prospective homeowners. The mortgage industry should serve prospective homebuyers, and we must dispel the belief that lenders continue to favour large deposits and are unforgiving of those with blemishes on their credit record.

“There are specialist lenders in the market ideally placed to help navigate the obstacles potential homebuyers face, but there is still more to be done across the wider industry. Ensuring that all viable homeowners have access to mortgage products should be the aim of the industry as a whole.”