First Time Buyers
While our parents might have found it a lot easier to get on the housing market in their youth, today’s first time buyers are having to work harder and save longer than those who went before. You might be forgiven for thinking that everything was stacked against you if you are simply trying to raise the money for a deposit.
For an average £125,000 property, you will be looking at finding at least 10% of the purchase price. On top of that, with any home over that amount you will find yourself paying stamp duty. Then there are estate agent costs and solicitors’ fees to take into account. The problem is that renting can be just as big a drain on resources as buying nowadays particularly in areas around the South of England.
The odds are not all stacked against first time buyers. There is some good news; when the help to buy scheme was introduced by the current Government to provide assistance for those first-time buyers struggling to find their deposit. According to new Chancellor Phillip Hammond, we are also going to start building more affordable homes. In his recent budget statement, he confirmed the Government’s intention to:
“To provide affordable housing that supports a wide range of need, we will invest a further £1.4bn to deliver 40,000 additional affordable homes. And I will also relax restrictions on government grant to allow providers to deliver a wider range of housing types.”
This is pretty good news for first time buyers and it gives hope they will soon be able to get onto the housing ladder. There may have been many thinking that the Brexit decision would have caused house prices to come down a little but the market has been surprisingly resilient in the months following. Over the last 12 months the average price of a home has increased by about 4.5%.
So, what will 2017 hold for those who are hoping to buy their first home?
There’s not much chance that prices will remain the same or stagnate, or even come down, but there may be some light at the end of the tunnel with a review of the house buying process that is currently being carried out by the Government. While this is more about the practical side, considering issues such as better communication and processes by services such as estate agents, conveyancers and solicitors, many have called for a deeper review of the industry as a whole.
Whether this happens anytime soon remains to be seen. For the moment, buying your first home is the biggest investment that you will probably make in your entire life. Finding the deposit and coping with stricter mortgage lending practices, brought in since the financial crash, is still the major obstacle that many people face, particularly in the South East of the country. The help to buy scheme no doubt helped people get onto the housing ladder but it really needs to be extended beyond the end of this year if there is going to be any real impact.
For the moment, first time buyers continue to work hard to build their deposits and find a suitable home.