Encouragingly, a new report has suggested that the number of house sales to first time buyers grew in the UK during April.
Sales to first time purchasers rose to 26% from 22% in March, according to the April National Association of Estate Agents Housing Market Report. However, a further survey conducted by the same group indicates that there could be troubled times ahead for prospective property owners.
Looking to the future, 93% of registered NAEA agents said that they do not anticipate first time buyers making a substantial impact in the market during the next five years. Additionally, 55% of agents stated that they believe house prices will increase in the same period, pushing first time buyers further away from the market.
Somewhat surprisingly, the report found that in the build up the General Election, demand remained very similar to that recorded in March. 344 potential property owners were registered on average per branch during April, in comparison to 343 in the previous month. Supply however dropped last month, with election uncertainty contributing to 43 houses being available per branch, as opposed to 48 in March.
74% of NAEA said that they could not see supply and demand evening out during the next five years, again meaning that more would-be buyers are priced out of owning their own home.
Sales to first time buyers increase
Managing Director of the NAEA, Mark Hayward, commented that, ‘the market is notoriously tough for first time buyers. House price continue to increase and lenders have tight and restrictive lending criteria.’
Acknowledging that, ‘this month’s figures are positive and a step in the right direction,’ Hayward believes that,’ with the help of 200,000 new starter homes and the Help to Buy ISA, first time buyers will be given even more help to get their foot on the ladder.’ Continuing, he appreciated that, ‘these things may take time to come to fruition.’