House price falls gives FTB boost

Craig Middleton

June 30, 2020

Craig Middleton is head of mortgage sales and distribution at Harpenden Building Society

UK house prices have fallen for a third month in a row, one of the many consequences of COVID-19.

Although not welcome news for many it does give an unexpected opportunity to first time buyers and the mortgage industry servicing this demographic.

First-time buyers who’ve saved hard for their deposits, some for many years, have been gifted with an opportunity no one could have predicted before the pandemic.

Even a small percentage drop in house prices can open the door to purchasing earlier or may make the difference between being able to afford moving costs, fitting out the property or re-decorating, kick-starting the purchasing process.

Harpenden Building Society has been receiving more enquiries from brokers looking to service their FTB enquiries. Our guarantor mortgages, an area we specialise in, is one popular option giving wider opportunities to those considering home ownership for the first time. The terms are as follows:

  • Guarantors must be a close family member. We will consider joint family borrowers without all parties needing to reside in the mortgaged property
  • All incomes can be utilised in the affordability assessment
  • Mortgage considered on unencumbered properties
  • No upper age limit
  • The product can also be used in the context of children helping their parents! Not the conventional parents helping out the children

Kieran Ring – 24, is a primary school teacher looking to get on the property ladder. He lives in Hertfordshire where our Building Society is headquartered and gave us an update on his current situation which we believe is typical of many first time buyers:

“I’ve been scouring the online property sites for the last few years whilst saving for my deposit. The recent drop in house prices has given me extra incentive to take the plunge as more property becomes affordable. Any reduction in price is encouraging for me and others who have been waiting for the right time.

“I’m considering all mortgage options right now but if my parents can give me extra help as a guarantor I’m certainly going to explore this further. It would take some of the financial pressure off and potentially give me the opportunity to purchase a more expensive property better suited to my requirements.

“Buying my own place is a whole new experience. As such I will definitely consider a mortgage application arranged through a broker who can link me up to a specialist lender. I need people who can journey with me, look at my financial situation from a personal perspective and create the best outcome.”

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