It can be safely said that the chances of affordability for first-time buyers (FTB’s) has increased significantly. This has been further supported by the reports provided by the Halifax first-time buyer annual review. Between 2008 and 2009 around 24% of local authority areas became affordable. Thus it follows, for someone on average earnings, the average price paid by such a bias was approximately 40% in local authority districts.
The disposable earnings to mortgage payments dropped by half for FTB’s since June 2007, which had an average of 50% then. The current 27% as of November 2009 is also a measure of the impact of interest rate changes. Such figures represent a below average performance over the past 25 years, 34%.
New home buyers have not been able enter the market, despite a marked improvement. This can be partly advocated to the lending criteria. However there are signs that this is becoming less stringent. It seems that two factors are contributing to this change one being the average deposit put down by FTBs that has remained unchanged as a percentage of the purchase price since early 2009 in comparison to a significant increase in 2008 and the other being that there appears to be an increase in mortgage availability. Mortgage products have risen by approximately 33%.
“Housing affordability for potential first-time buyers has improved substantially over the past two years due to the combination of lower house prices and reduced mortgage rates. Mortgage payments in relation to earnings are currently significantly below the average during the past 25 years. The tightening in lending criteria over the past two years is, however, making it very difficult for some to take advantage of lower property prices and mortgage rates.” – According to Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax
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