Mortgage warning for millions as first-time buyer sales plummet: ‘Absolutely terrible’

Mortgage warning for millions as first-time buyer sales plummet: ‘Absolutely terrible’

Liam Halligan issues a housing warning

Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 28/09/2023

- 15:42

Updated: 11/10/2023

- 16:51

The number of first-time buyers in the UK has fallen by more than a fifth

The volatile housing market could see more first-time buyers derailed in their efforts in the coming years, GB News’ Business and Economics Editor Liam Halligan has warned.

It comes as the number of first-time buyers in the UK has fallen by more than a fifth.

There were 22 per cent fewer first-time buyers between January and August compared with the same period last year, according to mortgage lender Halifax.

According to Halligan, the housing market is “starting to turn” as buyers seek bargains.

A row of houses and Liam Halligan

Liam Halligan says the number of first-time buyers could drop further


He added that a concerning potential development is an inflation spike, which could trigger an additional surge in interest rates.

“People are looking for fixer uppers rather than the finished project”, he said.


‘Fixer uppers’ is the term afforded to houses that require renovation projects, and according to Rightmove, they are the most in demand, coming in at eight per cent cheaper than the average property up for sale.

He added: “If the interest rate does peak here, then the housing market will turn, but one blot on the landscape is, if we have an inflation spike this autumn and winter, the Bank of England will be talking about interest rates possibly going up again.

“That will push through implications on the housing market.”

He said that getting a deposit together continues to be the main “difficulty” for first-time buyers as they seek to wean themselves away from renting.

Rows of housesRows of housesPA

“Getting a deposit together has always been a difficulty”, he continued.

“People are spending up to half of their incomes on rent in some cases, it’s absolutely terrible.”

According to Kim Kinnaird, the director of Halifax Mortgages, the average age of those buying their first property had risen by two years over the past decade to 32.

The Bank of England raised interested rates 14 times since the end of 2021 to 5.25 per cent in a bid to bring high inflation under control.

They finally opted to pause the trend last week, giving hope to the idea that the peak in borrowing costs had been reached.

The average deposit put down on a first home is now a hefty £54,116, 19 per cent of the property price.

In 2013, the sum stood at £31,060, 21 per cent of the property purchase price at that point.

First-time buyers in London are required to put in the biggest deposit, an average of £113,078.

Those in the north-east, however, are stumping up the lowest total, an average of £29,184.

You may like