2020 and 2021 were turbulent years to say the least, but one positive outcome we can note is the high number of first-time buyers.
According to the Guardian, in 2021, the number of first-time buyers was at its highest since 2002, with a 35% increase in first-time house purchases compared to 2020.
Even in areas that have previously been deemed less affordable, like London and its surrounding counties, opportunities are arising for first-time buyers.
The Financial Times has reported that many landlords decided to cut their losses and sell London properties during the pandemic, while many families moved to quieter, more spacious areas outside of the city.
These changes in circumstances are opening doors for first-time buyers who may not have been able to consider owning a home in the capital before now.
If you’re a first-time buyer or are helping someone else to get on the property ladder, download our comprehensive free first-time buyers guide, and read on to find out where you could buy your first home in or around London.
Why is the number of first-time buyers rising?
You may be surprised to learn that many people successfully bought their first home in 2020 and 2021, despite the challenging circumstances.
Here are some of the key factors that may have contributed to this rise in first-time buying.
Although the pandemic meant we had to sacrifice our freedoms for a time, it also provided a savings opportunity for many first-time buyers who kept their jobs throughout the on-and-off lockdowns of 2020 and 2021. According to the Guardian, in the initial 2020 lockdown and the first three months of 2021, Britain hit the top two highest levels of household savings since records began in 1963.
Historically low borrowing costs
Despite rising inflation, borrowing costs are still extremely low. Although the Bank of England increased its interest base rate to 0.5% in February 2022, this is still a historically low figure compared to previous years.
The Stamp Duty holiday in 2020 and 2021
Although first-time buyers don’t pay Stamp Duty for properties priced less than £300,000, Stamp Duty Land Tax was waived for the first £500,000 paid on UK properties between June 2020 and July 2021. This may have helped some first-time buyers who bought properties valued at more than £300,000.
The Bank of Mum and Dad
According to research from Savills, the number of first-time buyers who had help from family members increased to around 49% in 2020, compared with approximately 39% in 2019.
Less competition from landlords
In recent years, there has been less competition from landlords for the kind of properties first-time buyers tend to target. This is due to increased regulation, more stringent safety requirements, and an increasing tax burden.
In some cases, landlords are even selling up, meaning more homes suitable for first-time buyers are coming to the market.
Affordable areas in and around London for first-time buyers
London has not been well known for its affordability in recent years, especially for first-time buyers.
However, whether you are a first-time buyer, or a parent or grandparent looking to help young family members onto the property ladder, a few key areas are proving affordable, with properties starting at around £295,000. There are also plenty of shared ownership opportunities, starting at around £125,000.
- Watford, WD17: the popular borough of Watford has flats starting at around £295,000.
- Finchley, N3: homes begin at £133,750 for 25% shared ownership in this niche area of London.
- Kent, DA10: homes begin at approximately £317,000 in Ashmere, Kent.
- Deptford, SE8: this booming area of south-east London has prices starting at £125,000 for 25% shared ownership.
- Ruislip, HA4: homes begin at around £419,000 in this quiet area of west London.
- Bromley: this south-east borough of London has homes starting at approximately £320,000.
If you are interested in applying for a mortgage in London as a first-time buyer, speak with an Altura mortgage broker to discuss your options. We can help.
Download our comprehensive guide for first-time buyers
Buying your first home is an exciting experience, but it can be overwhelming too. There’s lots of research to do, and it can be tricky to know where to start.
Our complete guide for first-time buyers covers many of the questions or concerns you may have about buying your first home, including:
- Tips for saving your deposit
- Mortgage lending basics
- How to choose the right mortgage for you
- Ways to increase your chances of getting a mortgage
- A step-by-step guide to the home-buying process
- The benefits of working with a mortgage expert
No matter how far along your quest to becoming a homeowner you are, this guide is a fantastic resource that may answer many of your questions.
Download our free guide for first-time buyers today.
We’ll help you to get onto the housing ladder
As a first-time buyer, the benefits of working with an experienced mortgage broker can be enormous. The home-buying experience can be stressful at times, but with a mortgage broker by your side who knows the market inside out, the whole process may turn out to be less stressful than you think.
In addition, Altura could help you access the right lender for you. We can find a lender who specialises in helping first-time buyers get onto the property ladder, and who can lend based on your unique circumstances.
Plus, an experienced mortgage broker can support you if you have questions or concerns about the buying process. We understand that it can be stressful at times, and that it’s helpful to have a professional be there for you every step of the way.
Get in touch
If you are a first-time buyer or you are assisting a family member with their first house purchase in 2022, we are on hand to help make your goals a reality.
Email email@example.com or call us on +44 (0) 20 3411 0079.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other loans secured on it.