New data from Your Move and Reeds Rains has found that during September, there were 24,800 completed transactions for first time buyers – a drop of 15.4% on a three-month basis. This figure stood at 29,300 in June and dropped 9.8% on the previous monthâ€™s total (27,500 in August).
However, those who did complete transactions in September enjoyed lower overall costs than their predecessors three months ago. The average price paid by first-time buyers dipped 3.0% between June and September, falling from £159,037 to £154,317. In addition, average deposit costs fell from £26,767 in June to £25,948 in September, representing a percentage fall of 3.1%.
First-time buyers withdrew smaller mortgages in August, with the average loan size falling by 2.9% in September over a three-month period, declining from £132,270 to £128,369.
Moreover, on another optimistic note, the latest Mortgage Monitor from e.surv reveals that the total number of high LTV house purchase approvals shot up by 16% between June and September, suggesting continuing momentum in the pipeline of FTBs likely to buy in the autumn.
Adrian Gill concludes: “The number of home-buyers entering the market for the first time has taken a tumble this month. However, aspiring buyers shouldn’t start worrying – September has been a slow month in the property market for a number of years now, with the good news being that October normally marks a relative recovery.
Those getting on the ladder this month have been determined and pragmatic enough to drive a hard bargain, securing mortgages with smaller deposits and scouring the property market hard to find the right home that’s within their budget. Let’s hope this new savviness on the part of first-time buyers isn’t just a September surprise. As demand for homeownership continues to grow and the Government dawdles on spurring the growth of new homes, first-time buyers will need to keep their wits about them so they can make the best fist of what remains a sellers’ market.”
In September, the highest average purchase price was paid by first-time buyers in London at £316,920, while Northern Ireland was the cheapest region for first-time buyers, with the average prices in the region standing at £86,809.