Highest number of first time buyers in London since 2009

 
Julian Harris
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TEN thousand first-time buyers took out a mortgage in London during the third quarter of the year, according to Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) data out yesterday.

The figure was the highest on the CML’s records since the fourth quarter of 2009, yet its research also revealed significant barriers to getting on the property ladder in the capital.

London has the lowest home ownership rate in the UK, the CML said. Buyers on average need to be older, with higher earnings and more parental help.

“The London housing market faces similar issues to the rest of the UK in terms of a lack of supply and affordability, yet different demographics, population flows and tenure patterns mean that it is also unique,” commented CML director general Paul Smee.

The average age of a first time buyer in London is 31, the CML said, compared to 29 elsewhere.

“Parental assistance is greater,” the report added. “Recent estimates indicate that only 28 per cent of first-time buyers in London bought unassisted, compared to 34 per cent in the UK overall.”

Duncan Stott from the campaign group Priced Out said that the CML’s figures exposed how many people are reliant on the so called Bank of Mum and Dad.

“Sky-high house prices are destroying the aspirations of a whole generation of would-be first time buyers,” Stott said. “Britain simply can’t call itself a property owning democracy if home-ownership is only open to those from the wealthiest backgrounds.”

The average first time buyer in London now has an income of £50,000 per annum, compared to a UK-wide average of £34,000 for workers making their first step onto the property ladder.