Nurture signs of life in the FTB market

Our BDMs are reminding introducers that while much of the emphasis in the market this year has been on buy-to-let and the return of a remortgage market, first-time buyers should not be ignored.

RICHARD TUGWELL
RICHARD TUGWELL, HEAD OF INTERMEDIARY SALES, NORTHERN ROCK

It is time for introducers to tune back into this important market segment. With the Council of Mortgage Lenders reporting a 10-month high in July for first-time buyer activity, there is evidence a species long thought to be almost extinct is showing signs of life.

But as the recovery could hardly be called well established, we need to do everything we can to nurture any upsurge in first-time buyer activity.

First-timers are the engine room of a fully functioning market and without them it is harder for second-time buyers to move up to the next level.

While a large fall in property prices has not happened, without greater first-time buyer activity we will still have a dysfunctional market from which this vital catalyst has been absent for too long.

Having witnessed a flight to renting, are we now at the tipping point that will see a sustained return of first-time buyers?

Property prices remain high as a multiple of income, but with core criteria being extended some lenders are offering 90% LTV loans to attract buyers.

With these consumer-friendly deals available, brokers should be turning their attention to this sector whose time might have come again.