London first-time buyers: accounting for almost half of transactions here’s where people are buying starter homes in the capital

First-time buyers are keeping the London property market afloat, new research reveals today.

In the first nine months of the year 44 per cent of purchases were by debut homeowners, up from 36 per cent in 2015 and the highest proportion since at least 2007.

In two boroughs, Haringey and Newham, first-time buyers accounted for more than half of all deals, while in Wandsworth they made up 49 per cent.

In Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets purchasers getting on the bottom rung were 48 per cent of the total.

Across London as a whole the average first-time buyer spent £359,220 on their first home.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at agents Hamptons International, which compiled the figures, said the rise of the first-time buyer was a result of reduced levels of house moving by nervous owners, combined with Government “sweeties”  for first timers such as stamp duty breaks and the hugely popular Help to Buy scheme.

Flatlining prices, accelerating earnings and the record low mortgage rates also mean that the property ladder has finally come within the grasp of more younger Londoners.

The trend is likely to continue with the home mover market remaining locked in a deep freeze as buyers refuse to pay the asking prices demanded by vendors, who in turn, are still reluctant to slash their prices.

A separate report warns first-time buyers in London could be storing up trouble for themselves by paying prices that have been stoked up by the Help to Buy scheme, which provides equity loans of up to 40 per cent on new-build properties.

Analysis by home services comparison site reallymoving.com shows purchasers buying a new-build home with the support of Help to Buy paid an average of 11.8 per cent more than those not using the scheme.

Reallymoving chief executive Rob Houghton said: “Help to Buy might be better named Help to Sell, since our research shows that despite the scheme’s popularity with buyers, housebuilders are the ones reaping the benefits.”



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