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1m have bought first home since credit crunch

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07/11/2012
One million households have become first-time buyers since the onset of the economic downturn, accounting for 1 in 10 mortgage borrowers.

 

Speaking today at the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ annual conference, chairman Martijn Van der Heijden, who is also head of mortgages at HSBC, flagged up the fact that first-time buyers are still managing to get onto the property ladder, despite the muted mortgage market.

Van der Heijden also pointed out that the average interest rate paid by mortgage borrowers is lower now than it was 12 months ago, despite some lenders increasing their standard variable rates this year.

He said: “We know – pretty much – that the UK housing psyche, while a bit bruised, still holds home-ownership extremely dear. At the same time, people know that it is more difficult to achieve than it used to be, and that renting is likely to be a tenure in which most new households will spend at least some time.

“And we know – pretty much – that we have further work to do to develop a relationship of trust with our existing borrowers and with the borrowers of the future, many of whom – rightly or wrongly – see us (lenders) as the cause of problems rather than the providers of solutions.

“All these three things that we know point us in a single direction – to show our customers that they are genuinely at the heart of our businesses.”

Van der Heijden spoke of the need for lenders to simplify their mortgage products, deliver high quality advice to borrowers and to be more innovative going forwards.

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