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Brokers optimistic on outlook for first-time buyer sector

Nearly a quarter of brokers say the first-time buyer sector has the greatest potential for growth over the next three years.

A survey carried out by United Trust Bank discovered that 23 per cent of brokers feel most optimistic about the outlook for the first-time buyer sector, followed by 21 per cent who favour the family housing sector.

United Trust Bank director Noel Meredith says: “The split in broker opinion is interesting and it’s easy to see why there’s an assumption that the first time buyer sector offers the best prospects for developers. There’s been a lot of publicity surrounding the need to kick start the FTB market and I suspect brokers believe that if developers can find a winning formula there’s a ready market for them.

“However, the stumbling block could still be that younger buyers without substantial funds are barred from entering the property market or making the second step up the ladder because of the unrealistic demands from mortgage lenders for high percentage deposits. If 85 per cent to 90 per cent mortgages become more freely available at competitive interest rates then brokers and developers may well see a surge in the FTB sector, but it’s far from guaranteed.”

Brokers remain optimistic about the prospects for development finance over the next twelve months as 73 per cent predict the business will increase. Over 40 per cent of brokers placed between £1m and £5m of development finance business in 2011 while 33 per cent placed £5m or more.

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