Market Insight - March 2016
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The Long Wait

Focus Economy Sales Lettings Market Indicators


  "Single first-time buyers in London need almost 46 years to save a deposit"    


London Calling - and the Answer Came!
The Special Help to Buy Scheme for the capital will make a big difference for first-timers

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The ability to buy the average home improved over the last year everywhere in England & Wales, except in the South East. Households were 2 per cent better off in Q3 2015 than in the previous year – equivalent to an extra £69 each month after spending on essentials & mortgages. With inflation remaining low and wages increasing in real terms, most households saw their money stretch a bit further. Additionally, the higher tax free personal allowance announced at the last Budget, means that households get to keep more of their income. House prices, although still increasing are growing at a slower rate, and mortgage rates have continued to fall too as signs in the global economy point to an interest rate rise being further away than previously anticipated. Households in the North East saw the biggest improvement being £175 better off after all their outgoings than the last year. This was mainly due to a 5 per cent increase in wages and a 0.2 per cent fall in house prices. But in the South East it was quite different. Here house price growth continues to outpace wages eroding the ability to buy.

Single first-time buyers in particular saw a large improvement, the largest of all buyer groups. The average first-time buyer saw a 10 per cent increase in their income after tax, spending on essentials and mortgage payments.

Those in London, the least affordable region in the country, saw a similar increase but still saw their affordability stretched. So the new Help to Buy London scheme should be good news for them, helping to improve their ability to buy substantially. Being able to take out a smaller loan, thanks to the government’s interest-free loan, means that the average first-time buyer would be £673 better off at the end of the month than they would have been without this generous support.

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