Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

First-Time Buyers Are Returning to Market

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

First-Time Buyers Are Returning to Market

Article excerpt

Byline: Ellie House

THE proportion of people planning to take their first step on the property ladder has risen to its highest level in two and a half years, according to a new survey.

The research by Rightmove shows "surprising" determination despite difficult economic times and comes regardless of the ending of a two-year first-time buyer stamp duty concession in March.

Parental help, Government initiatives and steadier pricing could all be contributing factors, say North East property experts.

"The research from Rightmove is certainly encouraging for the resale property market," says Jonathan Parker, manager of Brannen & Partners Tynemouth branch.

"The level of first-time buyer activity has the potential to affect every corner of the market and we are pleased to see growing numbers of first-time buyers registering with us.

"The increase in first-time buyers is good news for those in property chains as it is often the larger properties which can become stuck without first-time buyers to keep the market moving.

"While prices are more accessible for first-time buyers, we are seeing increasing numbers of parents helping to manage the cost involved with buying a home, acting as guarantors or supplying housing deposits.

"This is largely down to the growing disparity between renting and mortgage cost with many first-time buyers realising that as rental values continue to rise, a monthly mortgage is a more affordable long-term option in current market conditions."

The survey of almost 20,000 would-be buyers found 27.9% were hoping to buy for the first time in the next 12 months.

Findings also suggest the number of first-time buyers will move closer to its pre-credit crunch levels of around 40%.

Would-be buyers are also getting younger, with the average age of those planning to buy a property dropping by one year to 31, compared with when the survey was carried out in October 2011.

Dunelm Homes sales director Colin Willetts says: "The first-time buyer market for new-build homes has been getting stronger in recent months.

"This has largely been due to a good selection of properties at more accessible prices and financial support packages. …

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