Estate agents see return of first-time buyers

The percentage of inquiries from first-time buyers has now returned to 32%. This follows proposals made by the FSA on 20 October for new crackdowns on the mortgage lending market. However, despite limited finance availability, first-time buyers are retuning to the market, keen to take advantage of current property prices before they rise to peak levels again.

First-time buyers without the means to save the necessary deposit are turning to the "Bank of Mum and Dad" – parents who prefer to invest in bricks and mortar for their children while interest rates remain low.

Simon Waller, Sales Manager of Winkworth Shepherds Bush said: "The majority of first-time buyers moving to the area have originated from family homes in the more expensive neighbouring areas of Ladbroke Grove, Kensington and Notting Hill. Mostly, these potential buyers are supported by cash from family investments and not their own savings."

Other first-time buyers have sat out the market in rented accommodation, giving themselves time to save for a deposit. Now the market appears to have bottomed out, they are in a good position to buy.

Josh Kravitz, Franchisee of Winkworth Tottenham, where 40% of buyers are now first-time buyers, said: "There is a lot of demand at the moment and we have had a large increase in inquiries from first-time buyers this year. They are now confident that it’s the right time to buy and have had the time to save for a deposit. The problem now is that there is a shortage of stock which doesn’t meet the renewed demand."

First-time buyers returning to the market have, in turn, started the wheels turning for the higher end of the property market, freeing up the chain. Rachel Briggs, Sales Director at Winkworth Sheffield said: "With increased interest from first-time buyers, the mid to upper end of the market can now start to move.

"There are many buyers looking to upsize on their first property and with the return of the first-time buyer they are now able to sell their existing property. When confidence and lending abilities improve for first-time buyers, even more people will be in a position to move."

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