Belfast Telegraph

The mortgage market

Fewer than a quarter of people wanting to buy a property in the UK are likely to do so, a new survey has claimed.

More than 80% of non-homeowning adults aspire to be a first-time buyer, but fewer than a quarter expect to be able to buy a property within the next five years, according to research by HSBC.

The latest findings show that, while 78% of house-hunters want to achieve the dream of home-ownership, only 19% expect to be able to do so.

And, worryingly, 45% said they think they will never own their own home.

The issue of raising a hefty deposit is the main hurdle for 69% of first-time buyers, while 59% said insufficient income to pay a mortgage was holding them back.

Only 12% said they were concerned over future falling house prices.

Key lenders, however, are putting new deals in place in a bid to kickstart the market.

The Ulster Bank's Momentum Mortgage, which is also available through the Northern Ireland Co-Ownership Scheme, is popular with first-time buyers as a 5% deposit is required, as opposed to the 10% demanded by other lenders.

Bank of Ireland, meanwhile, is holding a Home Advice Week, which runs until Friday, with a series of events aimed at addressing all mortgage-related matters for first-time buyers.

The bank has also launched a new limited-offer FeeSaver mortgage for April, which offers £1,000 cashback, no arrangement fee and no standard valuation fee. Moreover, the bank will also pay the Higher Lending Charge - if applicable.

Northern Bank is also chasing the remortgage market by challenging homeowners to see if it can reduce their repayments.

Northern is also removing arrangement fees and reducing rates across all of its fixed-rate and base-rate tracker mortgages in a bid to drum up business.

Homeowners, or first-time buyers, who switch or choose to have a mortgage with Northern, can potentially save up to £799, with the bank slashing both arrangement and booking fees.

Meanwhile, the Co-Ownership website has a special mortgage toolkit which helps buyers work out everything from monthly repayments to how much these would rise should interest rages change by as little as 1%, in addition to practical money-saving tips.

HELEN CARSON

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From Belfast Telegraph