First-time buyers stabilise uncertain property market

Latest figures from the UK Finance Mortgage Trade Update show that the number of first-time property buyers is stabilising, offering hope for the property market

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The latest figures from the UK Finance Mortgage Trade Update suggest that, despite the uncertainty over Brexit, the UK is once again becoming a first-time buyer's market, which in turn is stabilising the property market as a whole, allowing more homeowners to find buyers and move house. 

Mike Scott, Chief Property Analyst at online estate agent Yopa, shares his views, 'The Mortgage Trends Update for December 2018 from UK Finance completes the story for 2018, and reveals a surprisingly healthy housing market. The number of first-time buyer mortgages completed in the year was 370,000, the highest number since 2006 at the height of the boom before the credit crunch. The number of first-time buyer mortgages completed in December was 1.9 per cent higher than in December 2017.'

This is potentially good news for the property market as a whole, although the positive effect from the increase in first-time mortgages has so far failed to substantially improve the situation for home movers: home mover mortgages were down by 1.3 per cent on the same month in the previous year. 

This is likely the result of people anxiously holding on to their current homes, unwilling to take on a bigger mortgage on a larger property, combined with lingering worry about having to sell at a disadvantageous price. 

As a first-time buyer, this is, however, a good time to look out for properties for sale at a bargain price. There will always be people who don't have a choice about when they sell their home, whether for job relocation or bereavement. Their fortune (or misfortune, depending on their circumstances) can be yours, too, if you're looking to buy now.