Property news roundup: First time buyers on the rise in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
Plus, how are London's buyers different, uncompromising homehunters, and Help to Buy helping younger generation
Alex Johnson has been part of The Independent's online team since 2007. He has been writing about microarchitecture on his internationally-acclaimed Shedworking blog since 2006 and is the author of Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution. His latest book is Bookshelf, published by Thames & Hudson.
Thursday 27 February 2014
The number of first-time buyers in Wales was up 28 per cent year-on-year in the last three months of 2013, says the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the highest level since 2007.
Peter Hughes, chairman of CML Cymru, said: "It is very positive to see the momentum of first-time buyers in Wales has continued, closing the year strongly. The year-on-year growth in remortgage and home mover lending suggests the improving economic conditions in Wales are leading to increased activity in the market; a good signal for a continued upward trend in 2014.
"It will be interesting to see the effect Help to Buy - Wales will have on the market. There is a potential with the scheme to open the market in Wales to borrowers without large deposits, which might help ensure this momentum we have seen is sustained."
First-time buyer lending in Northern Ireland also rose sharply, up 29 per cent, again to its highest level since 2007. In Scotland, loans to first time buyers were up 26 per cent over the same period.
How are London's buyers different?
New figures released by Strutt & Parker underline the differences between the property market in Prime Central London (PCL) and the rest of the UK.
Those buying in PCL are becoming increasingly international - almost 44 per cent of all Strutt & Parker’s London buyers were foreign in 2013, while in the rest of the country only fiver per cent of buyers came from overseas.
Stephanie McMahon, Head of Research at Strutt & Parker, said: "We have seen Chelsea, South Kensington and Fulham assemble the most diverse spectrum of international buyers, while Knightsbridge is highly attractive to those from the Middle East. Kensington & Notting Hill has changed from being a more domestic market to an overseas hotspot."
Just over half of Strutt & Parker’s buyers in London are looing for property for their primary use, compared to 87 per cent outside of London. In the capital, 56 per cent of buyers were looking for a flat, while elsewhere 90 per cent are looking for a house.
Nine out of 10 buyers are not willing to compromise on their first choice location, according to Rightmove research, which also indicates that nearly eight out of 10 expect house prices to be higher this time next year
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst said: "There’s a real mismatch between buyers’ no-compromise stance on their most favoured place to live and the rising tide of prices. Playing a waiting game and holding out for the right property in the right location could prove risky as, with prices in some locations rising by the month, buyers may discover that the one they’ve been waiting for is over their budget."
Help to Buy helping younger buyers on lower incomes
The Help to Buy scheme is improving access to mortgages for younger buyers and those with smaller deposits, according to the Mortgage Advice Bureau.
Its January figures show that the average applicant for Help to Buy equity loans in January was almost six years younger than the average homebuyer (31.6 vs. 37.2) and had an annual income 21 per cent less.
Andy Frankish, new homes director at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: "The equity loan scheme continues to have the biggest positive impact of any government housing initiative in recent memory. It is giving hope to the younger generation especially, and making the difference between buying in your early 30s or having to wait until nearer your 40th birthday.
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony
A charming four-bedroom Oxfordshire cottage with oak floors and chunky-beamed ceilings, £465,000
A beautiful one-bed flat in a sought-after portered block, with access to Norland Square communal gardens
A one-bedroom flat within a Sixties school conversion with high-spec design and open-plan kitchen, close to Lambeth North Tube, £435,000
A 17th century four-bedroom house, with open fireplaces, cellar and pool, £600,000
A three-bedroom, coach house with luxury open-plan living space and contemporary breakfast bar
A newly refurbished one-bedroom flat in the heart of Mayfair, close to Grosvenor Square
A charming four-bedroom house overlooking Burleigh Square Park, close to Thorpe Bay
A three-bedroom farmhouse with a large inglenook fireplace and exposed beams
Life & Style blogs
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Scottish independence: Britain faces 'constitutional crisis' at next election
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
- 1 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...
£70 - £100 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Experienced bursar or business...
Competitive & Flexible: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education are l...
£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Qualified and/or experienced te...