The latest house-price index from Nationwide building society reveals that annual growth is buoyant at 8.8 per cent, supported by a broader regional recovery. Crucially, first-time buyers accounted for 44 per cent of lending activity in January, which is vital to the health of the housing market as it means existing homeowners can move up the housing ladder.
Meanwhile, the Land Registry reports that the housing market is growing annually at a more muted rate of 4.4 per cent. Yet this data carries a time lag as it is based on a much bigger sample base of completed purchases, which can often be three months after the sale of the property.
The data shows that while the mortgage and housing markets are improving, it is a cautious recovery. First-time buyers are returning to the market but also putting down higher deposits, while more mortgages are being taken on a repayment basis and over a longer term. These developments are out of necessity as it is a much tougher mortgage market than it was before the credit crisis.
Many of these first-time buyers will be getting help from the Bank of Mum and Dad; others will be taking advantage of Help to Buy. It is essential to seek advice as to the best course of action: get in touch to see how we can help with independent mortgage advice.