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Concern over falling first time buyers

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A recent report that suggests the number of first time buyers is falling concerned me.

The research by Rightmove said that 22% of potential buyers are looking to buy their first home in the next year, compared to 31% at the same point last year.

Rightmove also suggested that the proportion of FTBs was around half the level needed for a healthy housing market.

First time buyers are the lifeblood of the property market – they make up the vital first rung on the property ladder. But looking for your first home in the current climate can be difficult. Deposits need to be larger, there is less access to finance and house prices are stagnant.

But there are still ways for serious first time buyers to make the move to home ownership:

Buy a shared ownership property. Shared ownership is becoming a more realistic option for many people struggling to afford their own home. There are many schemes out there first time buyers who want to buy a share in a property, usually 50-75%, and then pay rent on the remaining share.

They do have quite complicated terms and conditions and there are only a handful of mortgage lenders who will lend money on these schemes so speak to a solicitor who is experienced in these types of purchases.

Consider buying with friends. Buying a home with friends spreads the cost and responsibility of owning your first home but it is important to draw up a legal agreement which sets out what you have agreed. Take advice from a solicitor and independent financial advisor before going down this route.

Buy a repossessed property. Often there can be substantial savings to be made when buying a repossessed home but the process of buying one is much more difficult since the time scales are shorter and there is the chance that you may be outbid at the last minute. Instruct a solicitor who can ensure they will handle the process speedily.

For further information on Stephensons’ residential property and wills and probate services, please call 0175 321 6399.

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