FTB numbers decrease in the capital

Michael Lloyd

September 6, 2019

Numbers of first-time buyers (FTB) in London have decreased by 12% since 2014, research from Hometrack has found.

FTB number have been increasing across all other UK regions.

Hometrack argues that this is a reflection of help to buy support which Hometrack estimates to account for 13% of all FTB purchases in the capital during 2018.

Shepherd Ncube, founder and chief executive of Springbok Properties, said: “There’s no doubting that help to buy has had an impact in terms of fuelling huge additional demand on the side of first-time buyers and while it has its critics, the scheme has helped a vast number of people to purchase their first home who would otherwise have failed to do so.

“Another driving factor behind this rise of first-time buyers is their attitude towards a purchase.

“We’ve seen Brexit uncertainty cause many areas of the market to grind to a halt as both buyer and seller contemplate the ‘what ifs’ of transacting in the current landscape.

“However, this hasn’t deterred first-time buyers who remain grateful to be on the ladder at all, let alone making a profit from their bricks and mortar investment.

“At the same time, those who simply have to sell have had to do so at a reduced price and all of these factors combine to provide a favourable environment for those looking to buy for the first time.”

FTBs were the largest purchaser group in 2018, accounting for over a third (36%) of all UK housing sales and half of all mortgages for home purchase.

Hometrack estimates that 14% of all first-time buyer purchases nationwide used the help to buy scheme in 2018.

Mortgage regulation, specifically loan to income (LTI) limits and affordability testing, have reportedly also played a part.

The research also shows that mortgages at or over 90% LTV accounted for 19% of all mortgage lending in Q1.

The average mortgage rate on 90% LTV loans has also declined in recent years and is less than 1% higher than the rate for a 75% loan.

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