First-time buyers ‘taking a bigger share of the market’


Small deposit borrowers have seen their share of the mortgage market improve as approvals increased last month, surveyors say.

Data from chartered surveyors e.surv suggests 24.6% of mortgages went to those with small deposits - typically associated with first-time buyers - in October, up from 24.2% in September.

Meanwhile, the proportion of larger deposit mortgages continued to fall, down to 29.6% in October from 30% in September, 32.5% in August and 33.8% in July.

Surveyors have forecast a 3.5% annual increase in mortgage approvals for October to 67,011.

Yorkshire registered the highest proportion of small rather than larger deposit loans at 33.7% compared with 21.1%, while the north-west saw 31.2% of mortgages go to low deposit borrowers compared with 23.3% for those with more to put down.

In Northern Ireland, 29.5% of mortgages were for those with a low deposit, compared with 24.7% in the larger end of the market.

The final region to follow suit was the midlands, where 27.1% of loans went to small deposit borrowers compared with 25.7%.

Unsurprisingly, London was the part of the country most dominated by those with larger deposits, at 39.8% versus just 14.7% for those with smaller cash piles.

Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, said: "Whilst a decline in purchase activity in general has been evident since the summer, first-time buyers and others with smaller deposits will be delighted to see similar buyers dominating the market across many UK regions.

"Those in Northern Ireland, Yorkshire, the north-west and the midlands are all operating in a fertile market for small deposit borrowers.

"Even those people looking to buy in other regions have a better chance of obtaining finance and getting on the ladder than previously, as the countrywide picture moves away from those with large deposits."