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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

We’re left behind! First time buyers hit by Coronavirus impact

Almost half of the country’s first time buyers say their plans have been delayed - or worse - thanks to Coronavirus, and they fear being left behind as the crisis continues.

In a survey of 1,000 prospective first time purchasers by mortgage firm Aldemore, 46 per cent said their plans were delayed by very nearly a year on average.

One in six had a property sale fall through due to the pandemic, and one in five say they had to pull out of buying a property due to lockdown.

Almost exactly a half say they are now worried about their financial security and two in five say the pandemic has made it harder to buy than before.

Some 39 per cent say they are reconsidering their property type due to lockdown predictably, perhaps, a large number now want a garden, balcony or access to a public open space such as a park.

One of the few bright spots in the mortgage firm’s report is that the government’s bid to revive the housing market with a stamp duty holiday for England and Northern Ireland has proven popular. 

Nearly a third of the prospective FTBs who responded believe it will be a significant help to them, rising to half of those looking actively looking to buy their first home in the next 12 months.

Furthermore, 24 per cent say the stamp duty holiday has brought forward their home buying plans, in order to meet the March 31 deadline.

Jon Cooper, head of mortgage distribution at Aldermore, says: “First time buyers experience strong financial and emotional challenges at the best of times as they go through the home buying journey, but it appears now this has been heightened by Covid-19. 

“The wider economic recovery will be the real determining factor for how the first time buyer market performs this year. First time buyers need job security if they are to feel confident in taking the plunge in what is one of the biggest financial investments of their lives. 

“Stamp duty relief also appears to have received a positive response from first time buyers, with many seeing it as a welcome boost. The initial costs of getting on the ladder can be a real barrier to many, so anything that helps reduce that entry fee for some is welcome for the housing market.”

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