First-time buyer optimism grows stronger
The outlook for first-time buyers is slowly becoming more optimistic, according to specialist lender Aldermore.
In its quarterly first-time buyer index the bank found that, although a large proportion of first-timers still believe it is very difficult to get on the ladder, the number has reduced.
Just over a third (35%) think buying their first home will be extremely difficult compared to four in 10 (39%) in 2016.
Rising property prices are no longer considered such a barrier, with a 10% decrease in those who think it’s the biggest obstacle to buying their first home.
Raising a deposit is still one of the biggest concerns for first-time buyers across the UK – but there is a regional split.
Half (45%) of first-time buyers in the East of England believe raising a deposit is the biggest barrier compared to a quarter (26%) in London.
A third (33%) of those buying their first home in the South East believe finding an affordable property and rising house prices are the biggest obstacles compared to a fifth (19%) in the North East.
The index revealed that mortgage affordability and difficulties securing a mortgage are increasingly viewed as an problem. Over one in 10 (12%) first-time buyers believe mortgage affordability is an obstacle to getting on the ladder, in comparison to just one in 20 (5%) in 2016.
Charles McDowell, Aldermore’s commercial director, mortgages, said: “Over the past year we have tracked the outlook for first-time buyers as well as the obstacles they are facing to get on the property ladder.
“While the situation is by no means easy, there does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel for those trying to buy their first home. Although property prices remain a hurdle, slower house price increases has given a glimmer of hope to those trying to get on the ladder for the first time. Instead, mortgage affordability and difficulties in securing a mortgage are becoming more of an issue for first-time buyers.”