Are Things Looking Up for First Time Buyers?
With the average age of first time buyers now reaching 31 according to Halifax figures and the average UK property price hitting £274,000, those hoping to take their first step on the housing ladder have the odds stacked against them.
Figures from Rightmove
showing an increase in new to the market, 2 bed properties could be a welcome indicator that things are about to start looking up for first time buyers.
What Has Changed?
The Rightmove statistics show that although house prices rose by £1,500 in the January rush, purchase prices for properties for first time buyers increased by £209. Likewise, the numbers of 2 bed flats available on the market has risen by 6.6% in the last year. Rightmove Director Miles Shipside, speaking with The Guardian (Jan 18, 2016), explains why this could be happening:"With the monthly price increase in this sector at a near standstill, this suggests that some of the dynamics of the changing tax regime for buy-to-let investors are starting to play out sooner than expected."
In an effort to curb the buy-to-let market and increase the numbers of properties available for first time buyers, Chancellor George Osborne announced changes that will see tax relief restricted, stamp duty increased and deadlines for capital gains tax changed from April this year.
Whilst this may have brought a welcome reprieve for hopeful first time buyers, the squeeze on the buy-to-let market may not do any favours for people renting properties. Countrywide figures show that rent has risen on average by 3.1% in the last year in the UK.
Advice When Buying Your First Home
Lisa Gibbs, Partner and Conveyancing Manager at Simpson Millar's Manchester office
, has advice for those in the process of buying their first home:"Buying a first home can be an incredibly exciting, although uncertain time; it can be a major learning curve for those that haven’t previously experienced the home buying process. There can also be significant pressure on the first time buyer from other parties in the chain as the shortage of properties for sale in the market means that no buyer wants to lose the property that they have found after, often a long and frustrating search. Getting the right legal help can go a long way in putting your mind at ease during this process."Our conveyancing team at Simpson Millar are experts in guiding first time buyers through all stages of the home buying process. We'll help to break down any jargon to make the process easy to understand and to keep you in the loop every step of the way.