FTB fees up 35% year-on-year

Average fees for first-time buyers on the top five mortgages have shot up by around 35% since this time last year, says Mform.co.uk.

The consumer finance website suggests they are struggling to get together deposits of as much as £46,000 or 25% of the value of the property they want to buy, and have to pay higher interest rates.

In March 2007, Mform.co.uk found the average interest rate on the top five first-time buyer mortgages was 5%, as opposed to 5.8% in March this year.

The website says this means first-time buyers will see their annual mortgage repayments increase by around 16% on average or £920.

This time last year first-time buyers could expect to pay out around £637 in arrangement fees on a best buy mortgage. Since then this figure has increased to £857.

Mform.co.uk has also found the average discount available to first-timers has dropped from 2.12% in March 2007 to just 1.57% a year later.

While many of the big lenders demand larger deposits, Mform.co.uk’s analysis revealed that current best buys for first-time buyers includes tracker deals from HSBC that offer up to 90% LTV and fixed rates from the Yorkshire at up to 95%.

Buyers looking for the security of longer term fixed rates will find a competitive five-year fixed rate at 5.59% from Abbey which requires only a 20% deposit.

Francis Ghiloni, marketing and business development director at Mform.co.uk, says: “These are tough times for first-time buyers. Lenders are generally asking for larger deposits and with fees and interest rates on the up, borrowers will need to be sure about their ability to meet these commitments before stepping onto the property ladder.

“Potential borrowers need to be careful now more than ever to consider the impact of fees on their mortgage to ensure that they have a clear idea of the true cost of their mortgage.”

He adds: “It is good to see Halifax launching deals for first-time buyers and emphasising its commitment to them. But even its deals involve better rates for those with bigger deposits.”