First time buyer demand is proving to be one of the saviours for estate agents in today’s soft sales market, figures from lenders’ trade organisation UK Finance have revealed.
Its latest mortgage figures show that 35,010 new home loans were completed by first time buyers during August, the highest for over 12 years.
But the weakness in the home mover market remains evident; the figures reveal that there were 35,380 mortgages completed by those moving up the property ladder, 5.5% lower than a year ago.
“First-time buyer mortgages showed a small increase, reflecting the continued strong demand for getting on the housing ladder, as well as incentives like Help to Buy,” says John Phillips (left), national operations director at Spicerhaart’s financial services arm Just Mortgages.
“But the number of home mover mortgages showed a fairly steep fall suggesting that there are problems further up the housing ladder.
“I’ve been saying for some time that the government needs to look again at the heavy incidence of stamp duty on higher value properties, which acts as a tax on transactions and blocks the smooth functioning of the market.
“Hopefully the Chancellor will use the Budget pencilled in for 6 November to do just that.”
Michael Biemann, CEO of the digital property lender, Selina Finance, says: “What we’re seeing is a lot of borrowers taking action now and getting on with buying a home before who knows what could happen.”