New figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders was the main focus of the midweek financial press, and in particular the continuing struggle faced by First Time Buyers at a time of strict lending criteria and fierce competition for property. The Daily Mail reported that the average deposit paid by someone buying a property for the first time is now £31,875; more than double that of September 2007, while the average age of a new buyer who receives no assistance from their parents is now 37. The Daily Express does note however that despite this, the CML figures show that out of the 45,000 mortgage granted in June, 17,200 were for First Time Buyers, an increase of 26% on the previous month. The Express also put a positive spin on the credit crunch, discussing figures released by website Propertyfinder.com which reveal that lower mortgage rates are allowing homeowners to pay their mortgage off in half the time it took at the peak of the housing market in 2007. Experts advised that borrowers should check the terms and conditions of their mortgage in regards to overpaying, as lenders often impose annual limits. Elsewhere, the Mirror warned homeowners to be cautious about signing up to equity release products, which often carry expensive rates and a lack of flexibility. On a more reassuring note, these schemes are now regulated by the FSA so procedures are more closely monitored than they have been in the past. Nevertheless the advice given was to consider all options, including downsizing, before proceeding.
What the papers say- 12th August 2009