First time buyers increased in the UK in March and paid less for their home

Taylor Scott International News

The number of first time buyers in the UK increased in March to a total of 32,500, the highest figure since June 2014, according to the latest tracker report. Overall first time buyer volumes grew by 47.7% on a monthly basis and as well as cheaper prices the burden of deposit costs and mortgage payments dipped, the data from the Your Move and Reeds Rains report shows. This means that, between February and March, the total flow of buyers managing to step foot on the ladder for the first time grew by 10,500 and on an annual basis, the total number of first time buyers in March grew by 34.9% compared to March 2015. Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, pointed out that while much was made of March being the month of the buy to let landlord and the second home buyer due to the April deadline for additional stamp duty, the surge was not at the expense of the bottom rungs of the ladder. He believes that a continuation of the broadly positive economic climate has likely been a factor spurring would-be first time buyers. ‘However, what’s really getting those numbers up is the fact that the range of support options available to first time buyers is at last beginning to be recognised and utilised,’ he said. ‘The Help to Buy scheme is assisting those with limited capital recognise their dreams, while the Government’s offer of cut price homes for first time buyers is easing supply in a part of the market that typically struggles to match roaring demand with constrained supply,’ he added. The data also shows that March has seen a lightening of home ownership costs and the charges associated with it. The average purchase price paid by first time buyers in March stood at £166,559, down 1.2% in absolute terms compared with February which previously marked the highest average price on record. But on an annual basis, the average purchase value of a first time buyer property rose by 9.2%. Deposit and monthly mortgage payment costs also declined. First time buyer deposits averaged £28,233 in March, down 4.1% compared with the previous month. In addition, the proportion of an average first time buyer’s monthly income that is consumed by deposit costs fell 3.1% between February and March from 74.9% to 71.8%. Meanwhile, over the same period, monthly mortgage payments accounted for a steadily decreasing amount of average first time buyer income, falling from 20.4% of monthly income in February to 20.3% as of March. Besides the falling costs of home ownership, lending conditions for firs time buyers have remained favourable. The average loan to value (LTV) ratio reached 83% in March, marking a 0.5% uptick on the previous month, meaning first time buyers will be able to borrow more against the value of the home they wish to purchase. The average first time buyer mortgage rate continues to fall, dropping from 3.14% in February to… Taylor Scott International

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