First time buyer deposits down

Plus, new build hotspots, latest rent level figures, and will renters ever be able to buy their own home?

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The Independent Online

First-time buyer house completions in the UK have risen 11 per cent year-on-year.

The figures comparing September 2013 and September 2014 were released by Your Move and Reeds Rains and show that the average first-time buyer purchase price rose three per cent to £150,950.

However, over the same period the average first-time buyer deposit fell eight per cent from £28,498 to £26,134 as the result of Help to Buy making lending more accessible for borrowers.

"Help to Buy has helped keep the blood pumping in the first-time buyer market over the last year, allowing borrowers struggling to save for a deposit the financial life support they need to purchase property," said David Newnes, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains.

On a monthly basis, first-time buyer transactions fell 11 per cent, a similar drop to last year when they were down 12 per cent between August and September.

In London, the average purchase price for first-time buyers was £276,168 between July and September, compared to £106,993 in Northern Ireland. The UK average overall was £143,721.

Rent levels

According to the Office for National Statistics, rents rose one per cent over the last year in England, 1.4 per cent in Scotland, 0.2 per cent in Wales and 1.5 per cent in London.

Figures from Knight Frank show that in the 'prime' market, rental values in the Home Counties grew on an annual basis for the first time since June 2012, 0.1 per cent higher than in September 2013 and 2.4 per cent higher than at the start of the year.

New homes in London

London could find room for up to 570,000 new homes over the next decade, according to new research.

Specialist London estate agents Stirling Ackroyd say in a report that space for the extra homes an be found by redeveloping 1.3 per cent of the capital’s land area, while preserving all green space.

"Even a cautious projection puts the capital’s population at nine million before 2020, and half a decade before that landmark the city already needs more homes," said Andrew Bridges, managing director of Stirling Ackroyd,

Leading future development hotspots include Southwark's Chaucer area, Tower Hamlets' Shadwell ward and  Islington’s Bunhill ward, 

Will renters ever be able to buy their own home?

Renters who want to buy are becoming less optimistic that they will be able to do so, indicates a study of Royal Mail’s Redirection service customers.

Although 36 per cent of renters say they are more optimistic about buying their own home in the future compared to last year, this is actually a fall of 14 per cent compared with six months ago.

Those renting their home in the Midlands are the most positive about their prospects for buying a home.

A third of those surveyed said that raising a deposit was the main challenge to buying, while 17 per cent said they were simply unable to find a property they wanted. A further 11 per cent said they were just not earning enough and were concerned about the cost of mortgage repayments.