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Good conditions for first time buyers

Good conditions for first time buyers

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 04/08/2009
First Published: 05/05/2009

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Home affordability for potential first time buyers has improved significantly since mid 2007.

The proportion of local authorities where housing is affordable to first time buyers has grown dramatically in the last 18 months, more than trebling, according to the latest Halifax FTB Affordability Review.

In the first quarter of this year, the average price paid by a first time buyer was affordable for someone on average earnings in 21 per cent of local authorities, up from a lowly 6 per cent in the third quarter of 2007.

"There has been a marked improvement in housing affordability for potential first-time buyers in many parts of the UK over the past 18 months," said housing economist at the Halifax, Martin Ellis.

"This trend continued in the first three months of 2009."

Another key indicator - the house price to earnings ratio - is also encouraging, showing property is at its most affordable level for six years.

The proportion of disposable earnings devoted to mortgage payments has also fallen because of price decline in the property market and mortgage rate cuts.

However, conditions are likely to remain challenging for the rest of 2009 at least, warned Mr Ellis, who surmised: "Increasing unemployment, low consumer confidence and the constraining effects of the continuing dislocation of the financial markets on the availability of mortgage finance are all likely to exert downward pressure on the market over the coming months."

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