First-time buyers now face some uncomfortable home truths


“At the top end of the market, we have seen more people looking to miss out a rung of the ladder and move into larger properties than they would have looked at 10 years ago,” says Clacy. Many of those who were saving to buy city centre flats have now purchased houses in the suburbs.

These buyers have made more long-term moves meaning they will be in a better position to ride out any turbulence in the market, she adds.

But first-time buyers who have purchased city centre flats will be exposed on several fronts. New-build flats are a key risk zone. 

According to housing analysts BuiltPlace, new-build homes sold seven years after their first sale, on average, lagged local property market price growth by around 10 percentage points. This meant that if local values had risen by 10pc, new-build home prices remained flat.

In areas worst affected by the trend such as Leeds, where the cladding crisis has depressed the resale value of new-build flats, properties bought in 2000 have lagged the rising local prices by 40 percentage points.

Buyers pay around 20pc extra for new-build premiums as there is less need to spend on repairs and renovations than in second hand properties. Incentive schemes, such as the Government’s Help to Buy equity loan scheme can also inflate price tags. But these premiums are not passed on on resale, meaning first-time buyers can be left high and dry.

As half a million kit out their new houses, many are at risk of living in de-valuing houses with repayments set to cost a larger chunk of their salary in months to come. And while those helped out by the Bomad might sit comfortably, others in smaller new-builds may not be counting their blessings for so long.

What troubles did you face as a first-time buyer? Tell us in the comments section below


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