FTBs unwilling to 'chase the market' and pay higher prices

First-time buyers are proving more savvy in the property market, refusing to pay ever-higher asking prices from sellers.

Gatehouse Bank analysed Land Registry data to look at the changes in the average price paid by FTBs and those who are already home owners, comparing more than 100 UK towns and cities over the last two years.

The HPP home finance provider has revealed that the number of areas where FTBs showed greater appetite to pay higher prices has dropped from 81 to just one – Doncaster in South Yorkshire.

Generally FTBs have been seen to be willing to chase the market to secure the property they want, outbidding more seasoned homeowners.

However, worries over affordability and the uncertainty over the outcomes of Brexit have dampened FTBs’ enthusiasm for higher bids, along the way contributing to a general slowdown in the UK housing market.

Charles Haresnape, CEO of Gatehouse Bank, said: “First-time buyers are an interesting group because they are a bellwether for affordability and the wider housing market.

“In the round, they are acutely sensitive as to whether they are getting good value because it can have a significant impact on how quickly they are able to lower their finance costs and move up the ladder in the future.

“If first-time buyers are chasing the market to a larger degree than home owners, it is a bullish sign for prices.

“When they do a volte face like this, people should take notice because first-time buyers are the new blood that keeps a market on its feet higher up the ladder.

“This trend can right itself over the next year but only if wage growth continues to beat inflation and there is confidence in the economic outlook.”