First-Time Buyers On Increase, Say Mortgage Lenders

Date Published 06 March 2013

The number of first-time buyers in London rose 15% last year.

According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the figure was 37,000, up from 32,400 the year before, although still a long way behind the 60,000 in 2007.

London first-time buyers paid the price for their aspirations – last year, just 4% managed to buy homes in London for less than £125,000, compared with the 40% who did so around the rest of the UK.

Affordability is also more problematic in London, with average income multiples at 3.59 times income in the capital, against 3.26 elsewhere.

CML director general Paul Smee said: `These figures show that first-time buyers in London are regaining their confidence and returning to the market.

`Even though property in London remains more expensive than in the rest of the UK, low interest rates and the increased availability of high loan-to-value mortgages for borrowers with smaller deposits has enabled more aspirational homeowners to enter the market than any time in the last five years.`

First-time buyer data was not released for the rest of England, but in Scotland numbers were at their highest in four years, totalling 19,000 in 2012, up 13% on 2011. In Northern Ireland, there were 5,100 first-time buyers in 2012, up 9%.

In Wales, the number of first-time buyers also rose. The figure of 8,700 was 5% up on 2011