First time buyers still struggle to get on housing ladder in London

The average first time buyer in London is aged 32 and has an income of £66,000 but they are still finding it hard to get on the capital’s housing ladder, new research shows.

Overall there were 10,700 new first time mortgages buyers completed in London in the fourth quarter of 2017, unchanged from the same period in 2016, according to the latest figures from lending industry body UK Finance.

‘Subdued growth in the number of first time buyers shows that affordability remains a challenge in the capital,’ said Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance.

The figures also show that there 7,700 new home mover mortgages completed in London in the fourth quarter of 2017, a rise of 8.5% quarter on quarter and the average home mover is aged 37 with an income of £89,000.

Both sectors saw a rise in the actual amount of lending. The £3.05 billion of new lending in the first time buyer sector was 2.7% higher year on year and in the home mover sector the £3.07 billion of new lending was 12.5% higher.

The remortgage market was stronger with 14,500 new home owner remortgages in London completed in the fourth quarter, up 9.8% compared with the same quarter a year earlier. The £4.41 billion of remortgaging in the fourth quarter was 16.4% up year on year.

‘London’s mortgage market remains competitive, with strong growth in the number of home movers and remortgaging reaching an eight year high,’ Bennett pointed out.

She also pointed out that Help to Buy can support first time buyers when purchasing new build homes. ‘It will be important for the Government to clarify its plans for the future of this scheme well before it ends in 2021,’ she added.