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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

First time buyers stage 2015 comeback

The number of first-time buyers rose by almost a quarter in 2015 despite growing fears that they are being squeezed out of the market.

November saw 31,300 first-time buyer completions, a rise of 23.7% annually and the most since August 2007.

They were helped a drop in average first-time buyer purchase prices, which have fallen 4.7% since November 2014.

That is the first annual fall since March 2013.

Deposit costs fell 4.2% annually to £24,598, with the proportion of buyer income they consume also sinking, according to the latest First-time Buyer Tracker from Your Move & Reeds Rains.

The major worry is that first-time buyer mortgage rates are inching up ahead of any base rate increase by the Bank of England.

Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, said that first-time buyer numbers have enjoyed a strong 12 months.

“Despite a shaky start at the beginning of 2015 – as sluggish real-terms pay rises and worries about the health of the economy held back some – first-time buyers recovered their confidence in time for Christmas.

“They aren’t yet surfing on the rising tide of the British property market, but they have learnt to swim to catch up.”

Gill said first-time buyers have been helped by Government stimulus packages, such as the Help to Buy scheme, and lower interest, higher LTV lending.

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