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FTB demise 'exaggerated'

17 February 2006
There are more first-time buyers (FTBs) entering the property market than it was previously thought, according to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

In the last quarter of 2005, first-time buyers constituted 38 per cent of people buying houses and their average age was 29 – which is younger than had initially been reported.

These figures were arrived at using the new regulated mortgage survey (RMS), which replaced the old survey of mortgage lenders (SML).

Around 90 per cent of the mortgage market is covered by the new RMS data and the CML points out that this is much better than the previously-used SML.

"The RMS highlights many important changes from our previously reported figures – most notable is the large increase in the reported number of first-time buyers," said Michael Coogan, director general of the CML.

Nevertheless, he pointed out that there has not been an actual rise in the number of first-time buyers but that the method of calculating has simply changed.

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