Analysis: Gloomy outlook for first-time buyers

Pad Bamford

Whichever way you cut it, first-time buyers are facing a tougher time than a year ago. 

Figures released by the CML for May revealed year-on-year falls in terms of loan numbers, house price rises, access to high-LTV loans and deposit requirements, and while there was a monthly improvement in June, compared to 2014 there appears to be little progress.

Within its recent data, the CML has focused on the fact that competitive mortgage rates mean the mortgage capital and interest payment for first-time buyers, as a percentage of their income, has been low – currently 18.4 per cent.

And yet in all other areas the situation appears worse than a year ago. Take the number of loans – 28,300 – down 2.4 per cent year-on-year. Or the average loan LTV at 80.1 per cent; the average loan itself was nearly £4,000 more at close to £127,500.

In essence, first-timers are finding it harder to get high-LTV loans and are having to find far bigger deposits, which means fewer numbers can buy. Consider the average deposit on those June figures: 19.9 per cent. This was a figure that had been moving in the opposite direction during the past 12-18 months, but not any more.

So while we may wish to see the silver lining, the cloud is dark and getting blacker. 

After much progress at the start of 2014, the mortgage wind is now facing head-on. It means the momentum has been lost and, without a real focus on broader solutions, many more first-timers will feel the cold chill of disappointment.