FTBs less willing to “chase the market”: Gatehouse

Gatehouse Bank has found that the inclination for first-time buyers to pay proportionally more for a property than existing owners has fallen dramatically.

The bank used Land Registry data to find that, in the 12 months to November 2017, prospective home owners were willing to “chase the market” in 81 towns and cities out of more than 100.

This sentiment, Gatehouse says, now exists in just one town in the UK – Doncaster, in South Yorkshire, equating to a 98.8 per cent drop.

Gatehouse argues that this is a significant finding because FTBs are a bellwether for affordability and the overall housing market – and that an unwillingness to chase prices is a bearish indicator on prices.

Gatehouse Bank chief executive Charles Haresnape says: “In the round, [FTBs] are acutely sensitive 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.

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

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

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