Third of first time buyer mortgage applicants are happy to buy in less desirable areas to get on the property ladder, says Yorkshire Bank

07 September 2007
Thirty per cent of first time buyers are prepared to buy in areas that are not considered particularly fashionable or desirable in order to get a foot firmly on the property ladder, according to Yorkshire Bank’s quarterly Housebuyers Survey.

It would seem that property value and accruing equity are more of a priority for almost a third of British first time buyers who will sacrifice living in a nicer area, mostly because they do not want to overstretch themselves with a mortgage they cannot afford.

More than a third do not want to take on a larger mortgage than is absolutely necessary, and 18 per cent of first time buyers think that house prices will continue to rise noticeably in the next 12 months.

Gary Lumby, Yorkshire Bank’s head of retail, said: “It’s crucial first time buyers don’t overstretch themselves when buying their own home so they avoid potential financial struggles. It’s sensible to see that many first time buyers are considering properties and postcodes that may not normally be at the top of they’re viewing list but could benefit them financially in the future.”

Homebuyers are adding value to their asset in different ways from buying in an ideal location, such as extending or converting the property; 37 per cent would prefer to buy a smaller house that can be expanded or has a loft that can be converted, rather than going for a larger house in the beginning.

Forsaking location and fashionableness, twenty per cent said they would even go so far as to buy a house adjacent to a cemetery or a train line if this meant buying a less expensive but larger property, or one with more potential for expansion.

“Our research shows that first time buyers are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to buying their first home.” continued Mr. Lumby. “Although living in a less than fashionable area or a less than perfect house may not be the dream home first time buyers have in mind, building up equity and adding value can help make their entry to get onto the property ladder very worthwhile.”

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