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Nearly seven in 10 would-be first-time buyers lose hope of ever owning home - RJA Properties: Lettings Agent Manchester
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20 May 2010

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Home information packs (Hips) will be consigned to history, the Government has announced.
17 Mar 2010

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Estate agents should be subject to the same levels of regulation as letting agents, it has been been stated.
22 Jan 2010

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Thousands of Britons with holiday and retirement homes in northern Cyprus face eviction after the Court of Appeal upheld a decision that a British couple must surrender disputed land.

Nearly seven in 10 would-be first-time buyers lose hope of ever owning home


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Almost seven in 10 would-be first-time buyers have given up hope of ever owning their own home, according to new research that underlines consumers' deep pessimism about the housing market.


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Despite falling house prices and record low interest rates, 65% of non-homeowners still believe they will never have enough money to get on the property ladder. That was the key finding of a study carried out for PropertyLive.co.uk, a new website set up by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

Among the most pessimistic were first-time buyers in locations such as Brighton and Norwich. By contrast, those in Sheffield were the most optimistic, with 47% believing they will never get on the property ladder. Only 15% of those surveyed thought they could be in their own home within the next two years.

Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the National Federation of Property Professionals, the umbrella organisation that includes the NAEA and which runs PropertyLive.co.uk, said: "With banks still refusing to lend and the government doing practically nothing to help first-time buyers, it's little wonder so many people have given up hope of ever owning their own home."

He added it was "a real shame" the chancellor, Alistair Darling, had decided not to scrap home information packs or take action on stamp duty in the budget.

In the last few days there have been some signs of hope for first-time buyers. Lloyds TSB has launched a mortgage that allows them to borrow up to 95% of the property's value. However, buyers wanting to take advantage of the "Lend a Hand" deal will not only need to come up with a minimum 5% deposit – they will also need to find another 20% from parents, grandparents or friends. The buyer's deposit and additional savings must make up 25% of the property's value, and the savings remain the property of the relative or friend, but must sit in a Lloyds TSB account for a period of time.

Meanwhile, some mortgage lenders are beginning to loosen their lending criteria, with the number of products available at 70% and 75% loan-to-value (LTV) increasing in recent weeks. Last week, Alliance & Leicester reduced the size of the deposit borrowers need to qualify for its best mortgage rates.

Housing minister Margaret Beckett is known to be concerned about the situation, particularly in London and the south-east. A spokesman for her department, Communities and Local Government, said: "We are determined to improve choice and opportunity for those who wish to buy in London, and improve the private rented sector for those who want to rent."

The government had already put in place a range of measures to support first-time buyers hoping to enter the market, he added, including expanding shared equity schemes to help 4,000 first-time buyers across the capital and the south-east, through the HomeBuy Direct scheme.

This month it announced a substantive package of measures to strengthen consumer protection for tenants living in private rented accommodation. "We are constantly looking at what more we can do," he said.

Guardian

 
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