First-time buyer numbers may rise

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The amount of first-time buyers looking to get in to the property market is at its highest level for two-and-a-half years, Rightmove said // The amount of first-time buyers looking to get in to the property market is at its highest level for two-and-a-half years, Rightmove said
The amount of first-time buyers looking to get in to the property market is at its highest level for two-and-a-half years, Rightmove said
The proportion of people planning to take their first step on the property ladder in the coming months has risen to its highest level in at least two-and-a-half years, despite the "minefield" of difficulties they face, a study suggested.
This "surprising" determination found by property website Rightmove comes despite the ending of a two-year first-time buyer concession in March which was followed by a dip in mortgage lending, tough employment conditions, mortgage rate hikes, and lenders tightening their borrowing criteria.
Some 27.9% of people who told the property search website in April that they intend to buy a home in the next 12 months said they would be first-time buyers.
This is the highest share since the survey began in the winter of 2009, when potential first-time buyers made up 27.6% of the study.
The study's findings suggest the proportion of this sector of the market will move closer to its pre-credit crunch levels of around 40%.
Would-be buyers are also getting younger, as the average age of those hoping to buy their first home in the next year has dropped by one year to 31, compared with when the survey was carried out in October last year.
Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: "The results come as a welcome surprise... The property market needs this upward trend in first-time buyer activity to continue, as first-time buyers perform an essential role at the bottom of the property market food chain."
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