Homeward Legal conveyancing background
Array ( )

How to do more to help 1st-time buyers

More should be done to encourage first-time buyers to purchase their own home. NAEA Propertymark, the body representing UK estate agents, says even a 10-year high in FTBs getting on to the market isn’t enough.

Recent figures from UK Finance said mortgage lending for first-time buyers was at its highest in a decade in December 2017.

However, NAEA Propertymark said too many first-time buyers are holding off on starting to look for a home of their own because they want to make the most of the recent Stamp Duty Land Tax reforms. First-time buyers no longer pay the land duty on the first £300,000 of a property transaction, potentially saving thousands of pounds on the average purchase.

NAEA Propertymark has made a series of suggestions to encourage more newcomers on to the property ladder.

They include:

  • Introducing longer fixed-rate mortgages with more affordable monthly repayments but that don’t require a bigger deposit up front
  • Offer incentives across the market to get people in larger properties to move, freeing up accommodation to let first-time buyers move up the ladder
  • Build more affordable housing
  • Reduce the costs of moving, including cheaper surveyor costs and a subsidy for solicitor’s fees
  • Less stringent mortgage criteria, particularly for the self-employed and contractors

Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, said: “The Government’s announcement to abolish stamp duty for FTBs has helped buyers feel like the process is more affordable. FTBs are struggling, particularly when it comes to saving for a deposit, and this needs to be addressed.

“Positively, however, FTBs are being practical. Since the stamp duty reforms, we have seen evidence that outside of London in particular, they are delaying their search until they have more money saved in order to purchase a bigger property.

“This means they’ll be able to stay in the property for longer, making the most of the stamp duty saving and helping their money go even further.”

Free Guides for First Time Buyers

Homeward Legal has put together some handy guides to help you with your first property purchase. Let us know if there is anything we've missed, and as ever, feel free to call 0800 038 6699

Whose advice can you count on
Step-by-step guide to buying
Essential checklist for moving as a first-time buyer
10 things to know when you view a property

Everything you need to know about buying a property for the first time

How to do more to help 1st-time buyers
Declaration of trust/gift – what it is and why you need it
Whose advice can you count on? Ask the experts
10 things to know when you view a property
The First-Time Buyers' Hub - all the advice you need in one place
First Time Buyer A - Z
The DIY Move - what you can do yourself and what you should leave to the experts
Essential checklist for moving as a first-time buyer
Estimated timeline for first-time buyers
Financing a first-time buy
Freehold, leasehold or commonhold – which one are you buying?
Shared ownership explained
Stamp duty – what it is and what it costs
Step-by-step guide to buying
Top tips to get ahead of the competition
The Budget 2017: What we learned
First-time buyers and Stamp Duty: Your questions answered
Are you a first-time buyer? Here’s the essential criteria for Stamp Duty exemption
The places where first-time buyers will still have to pay Stamp Duty
Sourcing the best mortgage deals for first-time buyers
The types of mortgage available for first-time buyers
16,000 1st-time buyers have already benefited from abolition of stamp duty
1st-time buyers need 8 years to save for a deposit
1st-time buyers need 8 years to save for a deposit
300,000 1st-time buyers have benefited from Help to Buy
Mortgage approvals for 1st-time buyers on the rise
1st-time buyer mortgages at highest level in a decade
1st-time buyers end up £27,000 better off than renters
Rise in successful 1st-time buyer mortgage completions