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First time buyers growing increasingly optimistic about the housing market


A number of new reports released lately seem to point to one conclusion: optimism in the housing market is rising and lenders are more willing to fund mortgages.

Much has been written about how the government's Help to Buy policies have led to a resurgence in first time buyers entering the housing market.

And now it seems those policies are paying off, with many people believing that they will get onto the property ladder by the age of 36.

Aspirations for home ownership

New findings published by MoneySuperMarket revealed that people living in Scotland were the most optimistic, claiming they will be 33 on average before they buy their first property, along with Londoners who also think they will be 36.

Just 19 per cent of Londoners said that they do not intend to buy a home. At the same time, the rates on first time buyer mortgages are significantly lower than they were before the credit crunch.

Commenting on the findings, Clare Francis, editor in chief at Moneysupermarket, said: "The resurgent housing market is making life harder for aspiring home owners on the one hand, but on the other, one of the reasons why prices are rising again is because there are more mortgages available for first time buyers now than a year ago, making it easier for them to raise the funds they need.

"This has, in part, been helped by the launch of the mortgage guarantee element of the Help to Buy mortgage scheme which is enabling first time buyers to get on the property ladder sooner because they don’t have to save such a large deposit."

Mortgage funding

There is also a lot of evidence to show that first time buyer loans are also on the increase. Figures published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) revealed that loans to first time buyers in Wales have risen by 30 per cent.

At the same time, overall lending for all types of buyers was up by 22 per cent compared to the first quarter of last year.

Peter Hughes, chair of CML Cymru, said: "There is a usual seasonal dip in lending in the first quarter but year-on-year we see growth in all borrower types.

"It is still early to judge the effect of the Help to Buy Wales scheme but there is certainly potential to open the market to first-time buyers without large deposits, which might help ensure the momentum we have seen is sustained."

Help to Buy

Recent figures published by the Treasury have revealed that the majority of houses at the lower end of the market are going to first time buyers.

The findings showed that 7,313 mortgages were completed with the support of the scheme and of these, 80 per cent were to first time buyers. The government also claimed that Help to Buy is also increasing housing supply and tackling shortages, with the scheme driving demand for new build homes. 
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