First-time buyers 'may return by year-end'

Posted: 02 Jan 2009 14:34:48 GMT

            Property News - First-time buyers 'may return by year-end'

Property buyers could celebrate 2009 as the year of the first-time buyer, it has been suggested.

With house prices continuing to fall and up to 75,000 owners facing repossession throughout the year ahead, a growing number of first-time buyers could find themselves within reach of the property ladder - a phenomenon which could in turn give a great deal of confidence to those in the marketplace.

Various commentators have already claimed that property prices will fall between 22 and 35 per cent from their peak levels in 2007, and most reports show that prices have fallen 13 per cent, leaving scope for greater falls in value.

However, Melanie Bien, director of Savills Private Finance, explained that mortgage availability will remain mixed, making accurate forecasts difficult: "Only lenders with strong balance sheets will have the cash available to offer significant levels of borrowing, with smaller and specialist lenders unable to compete.

"Interest rates will remain at historically low levels. But while the best mortgage deals will be available to those with large deposits or levels of equity in their homes - 25 or 40 per cent - lenders will start to return to higher loan-to-values [LTVs]."

Those hoping to sell their property soon to avoid further falls in value may do well to sell their property online, as doing so could attract a greater number of potential buyers.

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