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Part-buy hope for ‘still-struggling’ 1st-time buyers

GETTING onto the property ladder is still a struggle for many younger people − despite the better lending conditions that have led to a sudden rise in the number of first-time buyers.

High property prices and big deposits − often running into tens of thousands of pounds − remain the biggest obstacles for many would-be buyers who can't rely on financial support from what's commonly known as the Bank of Mum & Dad.

So says Bev Hall, Sales and Marketing Director of Bromford Homes, in response to reports from the Council of Mortgage Lenders and others highlighting a huge increase in the number of first-time buyers this year.

Bev welcomes the first-time buyer comeback and improved lending conditions but highlights the fact that, for many singletons, couples and young families, buying a first home on the open market remains unaffordable. Their best hope of getting onto the property ladder, she says, is the part-buy, part rent route − also known as shared ownership.

"Now is arguably the best time since the economic crash for would-be homebuyers to stop renting or leave the family nest and take their first step onto the property ladder," Bev tells would-be homebuyers.

"Interest rates remain at an all-time low, lenders are starting to relax a little − and, as a result, the number of first-time buyers is rising, as reported by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the Halifax and several others.

"On the other hand, open market house prices remain out of reach for many ordinary hard-working people, with most lenders expecting deposits that run into tens of thousands. That's why so many first-time buyers have been saying yes to shared ownership over the last few years − and why we encourage more would-be homebuyers find out if they too can see their property dreams come true at a price they can truly afford."

How does it work? Instead of buying your new home outright, you buy between 25% and 75% − the amount depends on what you can afford − and pay low rent on the remaining share.

Colliers Green homes

A key plus for many young buyers is the much lower deposits that are typical with shared ownership − as little as £1,532* for a minimum 25% share of a two-bed house costing £30,625* at our new Colliers Green development (pictured above) near Coventry. Total monthly housing costs are also typically cheaper with shared ownership than they are with outright sale and private renting.

"We know from talking to first-time buyers that this part-buy, part rent formula makes all the difference to hard-working people stuck in 'Generation Rent' − especially those who can't rely on financial support from the Bank of Mum & Dad," says Bev.

"Shared ownership allows them to realise their dream and take that crucial first step onto the property ladder at a price that they can afford and enjoy living in a new Bromford home with all the mod cons. Customers tell us that they feel more secure than they do in rented housing and they love being able to make the home their own by decorating it the way they want.

LarksRise Matt&Clare alt2

"It really is a win-win deal − and you don't just have to take my word for it. Listen to what our customers have to say − first-time buyers like Matt and Clare (pictured above), who've bought just over 50% of their home at Larks Rise, Coventry, and are so happy with shared ownership that they agreed to feature in a promotional video.

"Or Claraine (pictured below), another first-time buyer who had just about given up hope of getting onto the property ladder until she found out about part buy, part-rent. We've got many more examples like this − and I'm sure that we'll have many more as young buyers take advantage of the better lending conditions and the affordability of shared ownership."

* With shared ownership, £30,625 would buy a minimum 25% share of a two-bed house with a full market value of £122,500. A minimum deposit of £1,532 assumes a 95% mortgage on that minimum share.

Claraine keys1


20 September 2013