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First-time buyer enquiries buck the trend as housing market slows down

While the housing market has seen prices falling, there was a spike in first-time buyer activity at the start of 2023.

According to First Direct bank, there was an 18 per cent rise in first-time mortgage applications compared to the previous month of December, making it the most significant rise since September last year.

Analysis showed that the volume of first-time buyer applications rose from 17,704 in December to 20,845 in January.

The value of applications for January was around £4 billion, up from £3.5 billion the month before, an increase of 17 per cent – showing a small dip in the average value of the loan month-on-month.

However, the first-time buyer market was down year-on-year compared to January 2022 – where application volumes were at 31,308, totalling a value of £6.4 billion.

Elizabeth Jennings, a Director with Mander Hadley and Head of our Residential Conveyancing Department, said: “With mortgage rates rising, there are many things for first-time buyers to consider when purchasing their property including: how much deposit do I need? What are the best mortgage rates and am I eligible?

“There are a number of Government-backed savings schemes helping first-time buyers, including the Lifetime ISA and the Help to Buy ISA to help first-time buyers save for a deposit. You can benefit from a 25 per cent bonus on whatever you save.

“When you have made that offer, it’s important to budget for additional fees and costs.”

Examples of additional expenditure you will need to budget for include:

  • Conveyancing fees – Your solicitor will charge for conveyancing (dealing with the transfer of ownership), checking the legal title to the property and acting for your mortgage lender.
  • Mortgage valuation and arrangement fees where applicable
  • Stamp Duty – You will need to pay any stamp duty that is due to your solicitor, who will then pay it to HM Revenue & Customs once your property purchase has been completed
  • Survey of the property – This should reveal any structural problems with the property and issues like damp and items of repair.
  • Removal costs
  • Fixtures and fittings costs
  • Home insurance – Make sure you are properly covered both for the building itself and its contents.

Mander Hadley’s dedicated conveyancing department is registered with all the major lenders so we can act for your building society or bank in connection with loans and mortgages, saving you time and money on the way.

In addition to offering experience and local knowledge, we’re friendly and approachable and our aim is to make your move as stress-free and straightforward as we possibly can.

We’ll tell you how much everything is likely to cost and update you immediately if anything changes.

To find out more about our residential conveyancing services, please contact us.

Mander Hadley

Mander Hadley Solicitors is not only a long established firm, but is vibrant and successful, with a forward thinking approach.