First-time buyer completions up 23.7%

Ryan Bembridge

January 5, 2016

First-time buyer activity strengthened in 2015 as transactions rose by 23.7% in the year to November 2015, Your Move & Reeds Rains’ First-time Buyer Tracker has found.

November saw 31,300 transactions with an average purchase price of £148,385 and a typical loan-to-value of 83.4%.

Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: “There are a number of factors behind these solid figures. The effect of government stimulus packages, such as the Help to Buy scheme, is one factor, while the lure of lower interest, higher LTV lending is another.

“What is perhaps a more important factor however is that over 2015 first-time buyers have become increasingly cost-savvy and determined when it comes to finding their ideal home.”

Typical deposits paid by first-time buyers fell year-on-year despite rising house prices over the same period.

In the year to November 2015 the average deposit paid by first-time buyers fell by 4.2%, or £1,097 to £24,598.

The latest Land Registry House Price Index puts annual growth at 5.6% in the year to November, although other indices estimate higher annual growth such as Halifax which reported a 9% increase.

Typical prices paid by first-time buyers also fell, as the average paid dropped by 4.7% to £148,385 in the year to November 2015.

Gill added: “The sizeable fall in the average purchase price for a first-time buyer property is largely due to property hunters toughening up and driving hard bargains to get the home they want for the price they want.

“The question going into 2016 will be whether first-time buyers can continue playing hard ball with a smaller housing stock, as well as contend with less favourable mortgage deals as the Bank of England creeps ever closer to that long-awaited interest rate rise.”

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