First-time buyers are the catalyst for the entire housing market. When activity at this end of the purchasing chain slows, the whole market can start to seize up. In the wake of the banking crisis when lending conditions tightened, many potential first-time buyers were unable to get their feet onto the housing ladder.
However, lenders have started to relax their conditions and people are now finding it easier to purchase their first properties again. This may mean that demand for the services of Northern Ireland estate agents rises.
Highlighting this fact, new data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has revealed that first-time buyer activity increased in November. Over the course of the 30-day period, these consumers took out a total of 27,000 home loans. This was up by 0.7 per cent on October and 24 per cent on November 2012.
It was also calculated that the total value of first-time buyer loans in November 2013 was £3.7 billion. Meanwhile, these buyers typically borrowed 3.35 times their gross income, compared with 3.36 in October. The average loan size for first-time buyers was £116,913 in November, while the typical income of a first-time buyer household declined by 1.7 per cent to £35,848.
In addition, the CML revealed that the total number of loans advanced to home-owners for house purchase fell slightly in November. It was down by three per cent on October. However, it was still at its fourth highest monthly level since December 2007.
A Significant Shift in Public Mood
Responding to the findings, CML director general Paul Smee said: “The Bank of England’s credit survey reported demand in the final quarter of 2013 for house purchases was rising at its fastest pace since the survey began in 2007. This is a significant shift in public mood and, with strong November lending continuing the year-on-year growth seen since April 2013, this should be expected to continue.”
A Big Decision
Getting onto the housing ladder is a big step and it is something people should think long and hard about. Consumers should thoroughly assess their finances to see what sort of homes they could realistically afford.
To aid them in finding the best properties and to make the process of searching and buying easier, it helps if people find suitable estate agents Northern Ireland. With expert assistance on their side, the task of getting a first home can be made easier and less stressful.
When buying properties, people often have to make compromises. Real estate does not come cheap and it can prove impossible to find houses or flats that meet buyers’ every requirement and preference.
Before they start their searchers, consumers can benefit from assessing their priorities so that they know which features they are willing to compromise on. For example, perhaps they are steadfast in terms of location but are prepared to sacrifice square footage, or vice versa. By having a clear idea of their goals, individuals can make the process of finding a home much quicker and easier.
About the Author – Anna Longdin is a freelance blogger who has written extensively on the subject of UK property for a number of websites. She uses various sites for inspiration, including www.firsttimebuyerni.com.