First-time buyers reach 10 year high

In recent times it appears to be harder than ever to get that first step onto the property ladder. In the last 30 years house prices have increased a staggering 554%, so it may come as a surprise that first-time buyer mortgage figures have hit their highest level in a decade, according to data by Yorkshire Building Society.

The building society collected its data until October 2018, with November and December projected within the analysis.

The firm estimates that 367,038 first-time buyers secured mortgages in 2018, up drastically from the financial crisis in 2008 where just 192,300 first-time buyers were able to get their foot on the property ladder.

The data also revealed that in most regions in the UK, first-time buyer numbers have risen progressively over the last 10 years, despite property prices growing faster than wages. First-time buyers now represent a whopping 50% of all homes bought with a mortgage.

This steady increase could be in part thanks to government initiatives such the removal or reduction of stamp duty for first time buyers depending on their circumstances, the Help-to-Buy equity loan scheme and Help-to-Buy Isas that can boost your savings by £3,000, as well as an increased appetite from lenders to offer 95% loan-to-value mortgages and lower rates.

The strong competition amongst the lenders makes it important to seek specialist advice to ensure you get the best deal for yourself, and they can also help you decide which of the government’s help-to-buy schemes could benefit you.

If you or your loved ones are thinking about getting onto the property ladder or want to discuss your buying options, contact on of our advisers today.

Tenants deposit cap confirmed

Landlords and tenants can have difficult relationships. Landlord’s are primarily responsible for ensuring that their rental properties are fit to live in, whilst tenants may have their own expectations for the property and what their monthly rent is expected to cover.

The dynamic of this relationship has recently changed too as the government has confirmed that deposits on a rented home will be limited to five weeks rent as opposed to six. The move has been announced as part of the Tenant Fees Bill and is a further step by Communities Secretary, James Brokenshire, towards lowering fees for tenants.

The deposits are used to cover the risk of damage or unpaid rent but what does this really mean for tenants and landlords alike?

For tenants this is seemingly good news. The upfront cost of moving into a new rented property will be lower which should allow more people to start renting.

However, with less financial security less likely to cover unpaid rent and damages, landlords could be more cautious about who they are letting their properties out to. This could make it more difficult for those with pets or poor credit ratings to find a suitable home, so there are benefits and negatives for both groups.

Other amendments to the Tenants Fees Bill include protecting tenants from unfair fees by limiting the type of default fees that can be charged by landlords and property agents. This change means that during the tenancy landlords and agents will only be able to charge fees to replace lost keys or for late rent.

Landlords will still be able to claim back costs for damage through the tenancy deposit at the end of the tenancy. If you want to discuss your options contact one of our advisers today.