The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) claimed that just 3% of buyers in June were first-time buyers under the age of 30 in data released earlier this week.
The data has now been shown to be in stark contrast to figures from property chain LSL released this morning. LSL, parent company of Your Move and Reeds Rains, have said that in the six months to the end of June, there were more first-time buyers than at any time since 2007.
The company reported on first-time buyer transactions after scaling up its own figures and the Halifax have also noted an increase in newcomers to the property ladder, both companies being in sharp contradiction to the NAEA report which gave rise to startling headlines and gloomy prospects.
More First-Time Buyers than 2007
LSL reported that numbers of first-time buyers rose by over 30,000 in the first half of 2014, compared with the same period last year – there were 146,600 first-time buyer transactions in the six months to the end of June, compared with 115,700 in the same period last year.
LSL found that average age of a first-time buyer in London in June was 31 and the average age outside London, 29. While the NAEA claimed that only 3% of buyers in June were under the age of 30, Halifax said that the average age of a first-time buyer during the six months to the end of June was 30.
The NAEA painted a very gloomy picture for first-time buyers under the age of 30 with managing director Mark Haywood saying: "Things are getting even tougher for first time buyers. Not only do you now need to stump up ridiculously large sums of money in terms of deposits and stamp duty to be able to get on the ladder, but new rules mean buyers will also have to prove they can easily afford repayments now and in the future. Alongside this, a scaling back of the government's Help to Buy scheme and the implementation of the MMR in April will also have a significantly negative impact on the first-time buyer market."
Situation Not as Gloomy as Suggested by NAEA
Again, LSL has a very different view of the situation saying that in June there were 26,500 first-time buyer sales representing a 10% increase since 12 months ago.
The funding issues raised by the NAEA also don't appear to correlate with information from LSL who reported that 45% of first-time buyers completely self-financed their purchase and did not require help from parents, money from an inheritance or Help to Buy.
With figures varying so widely between two parties within the housing industry, it is almost impossible to ascertain an accurate picture of the situation in the UK with regard to first-time buyers.
One thing that is agreed upon by all concerned is that transactions in June were at the highest level since 2007 which is optimistic news for the market generally. The fact also remains that house prices have to slow in order for affordability to improve not just for first-time buyers but for those seeking to upscale or re-locate to more central areas.
- Friday 25 July 2014