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Friendlier lending eases the way for first-time buyers

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by Gill Montia

Affordability for first-time buyers has continued to improve, according to FindaProperty.com.

The website’s latest index suggests it is now easier for first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder than it has been at any time since the start of the credit crisis, in 2007.

Stable prices and more borrower-friendly lending criteria are responsible for the shift, which has occurred despite signs that first-time buyer house prices are on the rise.

The average first home is being marketed at £154,720 in March, compared with £154,036 a month earlier, FindaProperty reports.

However, taking into account slightly more generous lending criteria, the typical deposit needed by those new to property ownership has fallen to £51,700, down from £55,200 in February and over £70,300 in December 2008.

Looking to the future, FindaProperty.com spokesman, Nigel Lewis, comments: “The cloud on the horizon is that prices are starting to show signs of upward pressure which could make homes more expensive over the coming months, if there remains a shortage of stock.”

With regard to stock, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has recently reported that new instructions have been outpacing buyer interest.

According to the body’s February housing market survey, a net balance of 15% of surveyors reported a rise, rather than a fall, in new instructions, compared with a negative balance of 5% in January.

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News posted: March 16, 2010

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