Competition Works Against First Time Buyers

Would-be first time buyers are being squeezed out of the housing market according to the National Association of Estate Agents.

Its latest monthly research shows that 94 per cent of successful homebuyers in the last month were over 30 years old. Just six percent were between the ages of 18 and 30.

While some 28 per cent of all completed sales last month were to first time buyers, this was only a slight increase on the figure of 25 per cent recorded in March, despite the much-publicised apparent increase in mortgage availability and benefits of Help to Buy for younger people.

NAEA members recorded 392 registered house hunters per branch in April, a 20 per cent increase in the figure of 313 recorded in March. The NAEA says there are 8.7 registered house hunters for every property available.

In April, 89 per cent of house hunters were looking to buy as a couple with only nine per cent looking to buy on their own.

NAEA managing director Mark Hayward says that by recent spring standards “we’re seeing a remarkable number of househunters registering with our member agents … the last time we saw this level of market demand was pre-crash, back in August 2006.”

But he cautions that while sales to first time buyers remain relatively strong “fiercely competitive micro-markets in areas mean that many younger buyers simply still cannot afford to get on to the ladder.”