The number of first-time buyers (FTBs) increased by more than a fifth in 2014, according to the annual Halifax First Time Buyer Review.
During the last twelve months the number of first-timers grew by an estimated 22%. This was the third successive annual increase, contributing to a 50% rise in the past two years.
Halifax estimates that there were 326,500 FTBs in 2014, significantly up from 268,500 in 2013 and the highest number recorded since 2007.
The bank’s findings show FTBs increased their share of all house purchases made with a mortgage, accounting for 46%1 in 2014, up from 44% in 2013.
Despite April’s Mortgage Market Review which ushered in stricter lending criteria, Halifax says mortgage affordability has improved significantly in recent years. The proportion of disposable earnings devoted to mortgage payments by a first-time buyer stood at 32%2 in 2014 Quarter 3, substantially improved compared to the peak of 50% recorded in 2007.
The annual review also placed the average age of a first-time buyer at 30 years old up from 29 in 2011. Regionally, the average age of a first-time buyer is highest in the capital at 32 years old.
“Improving economic conditions and rising employment levels have boosted confidence among those thinking about getting on to the housing ladder for the first time, contributing to the significant increase in the number of first-time buyers in the past two years,” said Craig McKinlay, Mortgages Director at Halifax. He commented that record low mortgage rates and government schems Help to Buy and Funding for Lending have enabled more first-time buyers to get on to the property ladder.
Rugby estate agents Cadman Homes have seen this trend locally over the last 12 months, with first time buyer registration up by circa 20% and also a rise in purchasers looking for investment oppurtunities too.
“With stable property prices in and around Rugby and incoming demand form residential and commercial buyers and tenants, the area is proving popular with buyers looking to get onto the property ladder. This is propped up by our geographical location, as I always say, Rugby is “Half way to everywhere””. Said Adam McHenry, head of sales at the family owned and run firm.
The locally owned and run firm have been letting houses since 2008 and set the property sales team up in 2011. They have been nominated and shortlsited for numerous awards over the years at the Rugby Business Awards and have seen strong growth, with 2014 being a record year for sales and lettings, helped by an increase in first time buyers looking at buying their first home. Cadman Homes also specialise in shared ownership properties, which, under a government backed scheme, allows buyers to share the cost of home ownership with a government approved housing association.
Town centre based Cadman Homes also inform us that there has been an uplift in people looking to invest in property in Rugby. There is strong demand for both buy to let investments and larger development and building projects.
“We are helping developers, builders and investors who are looking to convert, build and transform property in the area for investment purposes, and have seen a massive increase in demand for sites, plots and properties that could be redeveloped over the last 12 months. The Rugby property market has held up well in sptie of recession, but has really started to boom over the last 2 years or so, especially over the last 12 months”. He explained.
So if you are looking to invest in property in the Rugby area, or if you are thinking of selling a property and are not sure if there is a development angle that could increase your return, call Cadman Homes on 01788 560 905 or pop into their town centre office in Caste Street (next to the Rugby Advertiser).