The recession has hit the housing market hard, with many people sensibly putting off committing themselves to home ownership during times of workplace and financial uncertainty. However, things seem to be looking up. Could now be the right time for you to take that leap onto the first rung of the ladder? Here are the reasons why it’s worth giving it some serious thought:
1 . The Help to Buy Scheme
While the large deposits demanded by banks have been a huge stumbling block for many first time buyers, help is now available. The government’s Help to Buy scheme means that buyers can get on the property ladder with a deposit of just 5 per cent (with an equity loan from the government making up the rest), which is far more achievable to most than the 10, 20 or even 25 per cent deposits required by the high street lenders.
2. Slightly Relaxed Lending
Although banks are still keeping a firm hand on purse strings, 2013 has seen a slight relaxation in lending attitudes, with 95 per cent mortgages available. To take advantage of these, however, you will need to fit within a tight lending criterion, and have an unblemished credit history. Find out your credit score before you apply. Use a 30 day trial to look at your credit report online. You’re wise to check it out beforehand as refused applications can damage a credit rating further.
3. Buyer’s Market
At the moment it’s still firmly a buyer’s market – with first time buyers with no chain being especially desirable to sellers. This means potentially getting the pick of houses on the market, and the best possible price on properties you like.
4. Prices Set to Rise
If you are thinking of delaying getting on the property ladder further, bear in mind that the tides are showing signs of changing. House prices in England are now showing slow but steady growth, with further growth expected during the next 12 months by 91% of people asked (according to a property tracker report by the Building Societies Association).
5. Increased Financial Confidence
A study by financial information company Markit, as reported here by the BBC, has shown good job security confidence and increased positivity by households about the financial future. If you feel that you’ve turned a corner with your finances, and that your job situation is secure, now could be a good time to take the property plunge.