FTB numbers hit record low

The numbers of first-time buyers (FTBs) getting onto the property ladder has reached an all-time low, it has emerged.

Just 50,300 homebuyers succeeded in securing a mortgage in January, some 19 per cent lower than the figure recorded just the previous month and over a third down against January 2007.

Just 18,000 of those people were first-time buyers, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said - marking the lowest number of FTBs getting on the property ladder ever recorded by the industry body.

CML director general Michael Coogan explained: "The wholesale funding markets remain largely closed and mortgage funding still remains constrained. This is now having a discernible impact on lending criteria and the ability of first-time buyers to get into the housing market.

He added that the budget had been a "perfect opportunity for the government to do what it can to help first-time buyers by raising the stamp duty threshold" - something chancellor Alistair Darling did not do.

The Bank of England recently issued figures showing that average two-year fixed-rate mortgages last month rose by 0.13 per cent to reach 6.5 per cent.

Published 17th March, 2008

© 2008 Estates IT Limited

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