First-time buyers make up half of purchase market

Ryan Bembridge

August 22, 2017

First-time buyers are making up around half of property purchases, Connells Survey & Valuation data has indicated.

FTBs were responsible for half (49%) of home purchase valuations in July, up 6% on the 5-year average.

Meanwhile remortgaging increased to 36% of all valutions, 10% higher than the 5-year average.

Remortgaging most active sector of mortgage market in June

John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, said: “Demand from first-time buyers is supporting the housing market at the moment.

“People are eager to get on the property ladder, with record high employment and competitive mortgage rates.

“But this doesn’t mean it’s an easy task to get a foothold in the market. Economic conditions are still tough.

“The increasing cost of living and house price inflation are making it harder to save for a deposit.

“House prices are around eight times higher than earnings – and they’re rising twice as fast.

“With the value of a typical property rising £10,000 in a year, first-time buyers still need help.

“Perhaps they could be given an exemption from stamp duty?”

While first-time buyers’ share of the market increased buy-to-let activity fell – as government policies designed to curb activity from investors continue to kick in.

Bagshaw added: “People are still investing in the buy-to-let sector, but they’re typically existing landlords looking to expand their portfolio and increase profits to offset increasing tax bills.

“But the stamp duty surcharge, combined with the reduction in buy-to-let mortgage tax relief is potentially dissuading new small-scale, amateur landlords from entering the market.

“This should be a concern for the government, as fewer landlords will mean less competition in the lettings market.”

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