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An age gap is emerging between first time buyers in the UK
The average age of first-time buyers in the UK has seen a growing age gap emerge based on whereabouts in the country you are. This comes despite the slowing in the growth of property prices across the UK.
Halifax, who released these new findings, said that UK property prices rose by 5.8% in September which is a significant drop from the 10% rise seen just six months ago. This came as good news for first-time buyers but bad news for those selling their properties.
Despite this good news, those buying for the first time in the more expensive parts of the UK, such as London and the South East, are typically seven years older than those in cheaper areas, like the North West and Wales.
Looking at its data, Halifax found that the youngest first-time buyers were in Carlisle in Cumbria and Torfaen, South Wales where the average buying age is 27. At the other end of the buying spectrum, the oldest buyers, at an average age of 34, were in Slough in Berkshire and Barnet and Ealing, both in London.
Taking the UK as a whole, the average first-time buyer is aged 30 and the typical price for a home in the UK now costs £214,024.
Although property values rose by 0.1% in September, the three months to the end of September saw a fall of 0.1% compared with the previous three months. Housing economist at the Halifax, Martin Ellis, told the BBC that house prices are still rising year-on-year but at a slower pace.
Talking in more detail about the housing market in 2016, he said; “The housing market has followed a steady downward trend over the past six months with clear evidence of both a softening in activity levels and an easing in house price inflation,”
House prices have risen faster than earnings for a long time now which has reduced demand among buyers but as there is a shortage of properties, house prices are still going up overall.
Managing director of Thorgills estate agents, Ben Madden, commented on the current housing market and the fact that it has not collapsed as predicted. This, he said, was due to a lack of supply, low mortgage rates and an economy holding up despite Brexit and political uncertainty. “Generally speaking, buyers feel it is their market, but the longer the economy holds up in the aftermath of Brexit the more the market may begin to favour sellers.”
Many, including the Local Government Association and Nationwide Building Society, feel that the best way to improve the outlook for everyone is for housebuilders to build more houses and councils to support measures to boost home ownership.
If you are thinking of buying a house or are struggling with raising the funds for a deposit, speak to an independent financial advisor (IFA) for in-depth financial and market advice.