Mail Online seeking quick views on Aldermore FTB Index

ended 29. November 2021

A journalist at Mail Online is looking for some quick responses on Aldermore's first-time buyer index which says: 

  • FTBs have had to raise extra deposit of £23,000 since March 2020 due to price rises
  • Nearly three in five (58%) first time buyers in the UK that bought since March 2020 had to raise a larger deposit than intended 
  • Half (49%) experienced a house purchase fall through, costing on average £2,403
  • Additional fees and delays involved with buying a home cost first time buyers an average of £4,486
  • Over half (52%) had to leave their house empty for a few months because they couldn’t afford furniture

She's keen to know whether things are set to get a bit better for first-time buyers - or are they already - now the market is ostensibly cooling down? They are still enjoying low mortgage rates, and may have less competition in the market, so is now a good time to buy? Keep your responses short and sweet!

7 responses from the Newspage community

Journalists should take the Aldermore FTB index with a pinch of salt. The data is so wildly removed from real-world circumstances it's astounding that it gets any attention whatsoever. For example, Aldermore says that 56% used a broker to help complete their purchase. Yet, we have reliable data from lenders and the FCA that shows 90% of all mortgage applications are submitted via intermediaries. Aldermore says the average deposit size is £62,572, I mean, come on, think for a moment...*rolls eyes*; we know the vast majority of 95% & 90% loans are to first-time buyers; if that's the case and the average deposit is £62,572, that means the average purchase price for a first-time buyer would typically be between £500,000 & £1.2m. However, Aldermore has said the average purchase price is £312k which means the average LTV is 80%. If that's true, who the hell is taking out all the 95% and 90% LTV mortgages? It's almost as though people believe everything they read, and market research businesses believe everything they're told by the people that take part in the survey. Maybe in future, apply a little common sense.
Aldermore's research has certainly raised some interesting points, but please don't get too anxious about buying your first home. Whilst some of these numbers look big, they are national averages and a lot of the costs associated with buying a property are directly related to the value of it - so the costs are likely going to be very different depending on whether you are buying in Belgravia or Bolton. The sharp rise in house prices through 2021 has outstripped many buyers rates of saving, meaning larger deposits than expected and maybe even having to get help from family. Expectations are that, with no further Stamp Duty holiday to fuel the market, we should see house price rises settle down - there may even be a period of almost flat price growth, time will tell. Either way it remove a little of the pressure from first time buyers. Property transactions falling through do seem to have increased, but this was (in my experience at least) around the end of the Stamp Duty holiday - as it became apparent people weren't going to complete in time to take advantage, they simply withdraw from the transaction. You can do very little as a first-time buyer to protect yourself from a chain collapsing, but asking how long a chain is can help you prepare - the longer it is the more likely that a problem will occur somewhere along it. Moving into your first home is often a case of "make do for now" interior design. As much as you'd like it to be a super modern, minimalist show home, it is likely to be more "shabby chic" for a while. The key message though is; don't let all this put you off. Yes, buying a house is expensive and stressful, but I know very few people who would say it's not absolutely worth it in the end. My key bits of advice - get a good mortgage broker and a good solicitor. They are the professionals that work for you as the buyer. The god ones will be more than happy to help you through the whole process, working with you and supporting you from start to finish.
Aldermore's research will certainly raise some eyebrows but they are a specialist lender, not a mainstream lender and the figures will massively differ for someone buying in the South or the Midlands so averages never show the reality on the ground. Things right now for first-time buyers are great with the re-introduction of 5% deposit, and 10% mortgages back in a big way which is allowing first-time buyers to step onto the ladder. The biggest issue is stock when there is significant demand and shortage of housing supply, prices will be affected great for the seller not some much for buyers.
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Ocean Mortgages Ltd
"As a First Time Buyer specialist, we have seen first hand what a tough year it has been for FTBers. They are the lifeblood of the property market, however this year has been the toughest I can remember for them. Having to raise higher deposits, being gazumped and mortgage offers taking longer to arrive than ever has really affected the mental health of many buyers. We have been counsellors as well as brokers in 2021, which is sometimes part of the job but more so this year. Over the past couple of months some normality has, fortunately, returned."
The lenders have been trying to make it easier for first-time buyers by bringing back low deposit mortgages, lowering their rates and offering more generous income multiples. Ideally buyers need a deposit of at least 10% to get a fixed mortgage priced around 2%. While many of the super-cheap mortgages are getting more expensive, some lenders are bucking the trend and improving their pricing. As a result there are some great deals to choose from providing you have a clear credit history. If buyers do find a property they like it is still a good time to get on the property ladder.
"It is never easy for first time buyers as there always seems to be something that gets in the way. The best thing to do is to speak to someone early, who can tell you how to get yourself in the best possible position, for when you are ready to buy."
These averages and statistics don't tell the full story. I've been helping single First Time Buyers buy flats in Greater Manchester for less than £120,000 with just a 5% deposit. That's £6,000. At the same time though I have seen lots of couple skipping the traditional 2 bed starter homes and go straight to 4 bed family homes that they'll be able to live in for a long time. Fall through seem to be going through the roof. I've had many clients capitalise on this though as cash buyers have suddenly withdrawn for the process and my FTB clients then being accepted on a property they were previously ejected on.