Buyers more confident about getting on the ladder
Housing market sentiment among consumers has improved, according to the final Property Tracker of 2015 from the Building Societies Association (BSA).
It noted that barriers to homeownership are falling, giving wannabe first-time buyers more confidence that they will eventually get onto the ladder.
Raising a deposit has been the single biggest barrier since 2010 but the number of consumers saying it is a problem is falling. However, it still presents a barrier, with 52% saying it is a hurdle to overcome, down from a high of 69% in September 2011.
The number of respondents saying that access to mortgage finance is a barrier to homeownership dropped from 41% to 38%. Affordability of monthly mortgage repayments and a lack of job security are also becoming less of a barrier for potential borrowers.
Charlotte Nelson, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said: “The finding that major barriers to homeownership have fallen to a six-year low is great news for first-time buyers and instils greater confidence in the housing market.
“Government schemes, such as the Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee Scheme, have helped to foster a positive attitude and the new Help to Buy ISA will only reinforce this outlook. This means consumers now feel a little more confident about gathering up enough cash to step on to the property ladder.
“In addition, the mortgage market for those with a modest deposit is the best it has been in a long time, with the number of products for those with a 5% deposit increasing from 179 in December 2014 to 240 today. Average rates have also dropped; for example, the average two-year fixed rate at 95% loan-to-value has fallen from 5.23% to 4.30% in just one year.”