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Mortgage problems still hitting first time buyers

Mortgage problems still hitting first time buyers

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 15/02/2011
First Published: 15/02/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The majority of would-be first time buyers are still not in a position to secure the mortgage deals they need to get on to the property ladder.

The latest research from Rightmove found that the proportion of buyers intending to purchase a property for the first time over the year ahead has dropped below one-in-four, the second lowest figure ever recorded.

The property website said the number is around half the level typically required for a healthy housing market.

Mortgage related issues continue to be the most significant factor behind the suppression of first time buyer levels.

Just under half (44%) of those questioned said they could not raise a sufficient deposit, while a further 10% cited problems with meeting monthly mortgage repayments as their principle concern.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said that the desirable level of first time buyers for a healthy market is typically around 40% of all buyers, almost double the current level, because of the vital function they perform in completing chains and aiding fluidity throughout the housing ladder.

"It will be interesting to see whether lenders really have the stomach to help more first time buyers as they are likely to regard it as riskier lending," Mr Shipside said.

"Any relaxation of their substantial deposit requirements normally comes at a price, with them charging pretty penal interest rates to help mitigate their additional risks of negative equity or defaulting."

The difficulties facing those looking to buy their own home for the first time were further illustrated by the decreasing proportion of first time buyers purchasing alone.

Almost three quarters of first time buyers are now buying with a partner or spouse, the highest ever level recorded by the survey.

"They say that home is where the heart is, and finding love seems to be the only path available for many of today's generation of first time buyers as mortgage lending and the economic downturn mean that buying alone is becoming less viable," added Mr Shipside.

"While lenders so far haven't budged in finding solutions for first time buyers, it is the buyers themselves that are adjusting to market conditions by coupling-up in their pursuit of home ownership."

If you're a first time buyer wanting to take your first step on to the property ladder, do not despair just yet.

Our first time buyer best buy charts list the latest mortgage deals aimed at those trying to make their maiden move into the housing market.

The necessary deposits start as low as 10% of the property value, with various rate and fee options available through different product types.

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