Covid-19 stalling first-time buyer activity

First-time buyers’ share of the housing market will fall by the end of 2020, according to Zoopla’s house price index.

This year saw reduced availability of high-to-value mortgages, while the stamp duty holiday did more to help homemovers and investors than first-time buyers.

The South East, Scotland and the South West in particular have seen homeowner demand hold steady compared to first-time buyers.

Mary-Anne Bowring, group managing director at Ringley Group, said: “However, the government’s stamp duty holiday has had the counter-productive effect of pushing house prices up higher, further impacting the chances of first-time buyers getting on to the property ladder.

“Rather than the government introducing a stamp duty holiday, more should’ve been done to help first-time buyers take their first steps, but now we’re seeing investors and second-steppers taking full advantage.”

The house price index revealed that there are currently 140,000 more homeowners waiting to complete on their properties right now, compared to the same period last year.