First-time buyers at highest level since February

Nia Williams

August 26, 2010

As Drew Wotherspoon, director of marketing at Charcol.co.uk, said: “This is the highest level since February this year and perhaps suggests that first timers are willing to dip their toe into the market again after sensibly putting any plans on hold pending the outcome of the election and subsequent emergency budget.

“However, one month doth not make a trend, so John Charcol is wary in drawing too many conclusions from this figure. That said, it will be interesting to see over the coming months if the trend does continue.”

The survey also showed that purchase mortgages at highest levels for years

More than 6 in 10 mortgages in July were for purchases, according to John Charcol, and initial signs reveal August will be even higher.

“For the first time in what we believe is decades, the proportion of mortgages for purchases broke the 60% barrier in July, revealing a certain confidence in the future of the market,” said Wotherspoon.

“There is much talk of a double dip and a large correction in the housing market still to come, but these figures would certainly go some way towards questioning this theory.

“The rule book may well have been ripped up when the crunch began, but the old adage of supply and demand still holds true.

“Whilst we have limited new stock demand will always outstrip supply in the UK. The last few years have taught us to expect anything, but a further large drop in prices looks very unlikely, unless the FSA’S proposed rules on affordability are implemented as currently drafted.

“At the same time we see remortgaging still remaining in the doldrums. Just two years ago it accounted for 75% of the market, whereas it is now just 40%. With tightening of lender criteria and many people reverting to reasonably attractive rates there is little surprise in this, but borrowers should definitely keep their eyes on the ball.

“Logic dictates that a move in bank rate will spur some people into action, but many shouldn’t wait for that. Increasing numbers of borrowers would be better off if they moved.”

Sign up to our daily email