Posted 10 September 2015 by Keith Osborne
First-time homebuyers (FTBs) are the engine of our housing industry, but the global financial crisis of 2007/08 made things particularly tough for them, as lenders tightened their criteria to require buyers to provide much higher deposits than they used to.
The recovery has seen house prices soaring in some areas and the average age of FTBs is rising too, from 28-years-old in 1995 to 31 in 2015. Many industry spectators talk about 'Generation Rent', a swathe of people destined never to be able to afford to buy their own home.
Thankfully, government and the UK's housebuilders stepped in to provide some assistance in purchasing a new home. Schemes such as Shared Ownership and Help to Buy require much lower deposits and also reduce monthly payments in those tough early years. Shared equity schemes provide substantial loans, often interest-free for a number of years, that allow FTBs to find mortgages for a lower percentage of the value of their home (the 'loan-to-value' percentage), at more competitive interest rates.