CML: First-time buyers worst off ever

14 February 2007
UK mortgage lending figures for December showed first-time buyers faring worse than at any other time since records began, as they borrowed 3.31 times their income to buy their homes, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has revealed.

Overall, the results were moderately positive, with a 14 per cent fall from November's all-time lending high combined with the highest lending figures for December on record.

But the proportion of income first-timers were forced to spend on servicing increasingly demanding mortgage interest payments rose to 17.9 per cent, the CML statistics showed.

With the December figures collated, it is possible to assess lending trends for the whole of 2006 for the first time – and it has emerged that the value of mortgages taken out by first-time buyers rose to 34 per cent under pressure from the rapid rise in house prices over the year.

"The monthly figures clearly show the cumulative effects of the gradual worsening in affordability for first-time buyers," commented CML director general Michael Coogan.

And he added that an "ever-rising proportion" of first-time buyers are being caught by stamp duty, adding to calls from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for the stamp duty threshold to be raised to £150,000.

To learn more about first-time buyer mortgages, click here.

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