In July 2016, the UK’s largest mortgage lender, Halifax, revealed that the number of people buying properties for the first time is on the increase. So how will this affect the property market in Edinburgh and the Lothians?
Halifax’s figures show that 154,200 first time buyers were successful in the first half of 2016, compared to 140,500 in the same period last year (an increase of 10%). To put that figure into context, the number of first time buyers in the first half of 2016 was over double the amount of the same period in 2009, (72,200) following the 2008 credit crunch.
The report comes as buyer levels continue to grow in East Central Scotland. At MOV8 Real Estate, we have seen strong sales figures so far in 2016. Statistically, we have seen buyer numbers up 8.2% overall, between January to June 2016, when compared to the same period in 2015. This is a pattern that we expect to continue throughout the remainder of the year.
Commenting on the figures, MOV8’s Managing Director, Robert Carroll, stated:
“It’s heartening to see that first time buyer numbers are on the rise. The property market in Scotland needs first time buyers to allow everyone else on the property ladder to be able to move.
“Buyer demand is definitely high, with good availability of mortgages. There remains a lack of supply to the market, with a number of property sellers seemingly holding-off putting their own properties on the market, partly through fear of whether they will be able to find something else. Increasingly, we are also hearing that the recent changes to Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) that introduced a 3% surcharge on people who already own a property, are putting people off moving home.
“All of this has led to a drop in the overall numbers of properties coming to the market in 2016 versus 2015. This imbalance between supply and demand is pushing prices upwards and driving-down the time that properties are taking to sell.”
The Halifax points to the government’s Help to Buy scheme, launched in April 2013, as a key factor in helping to boost first-time purchases. As well as Help to Buy, Halifax cited record high employment levels and cheaper mortgage rates as contributing to the increase in first time sales.
Carroll pointed to a number of factors as to why first time buyer numbers had increased, encouraging new buyers to take advantage of the current property market climate.
“It’s clear that record low mortgage rates have contributed significantly to these statistics, with buying a property being a more affordable option for some people than renting, assuming they have saved-up a sufficient deposit.”
For a guide as to how to save for your own property deposit, you can find our handy tips here.
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