Statistics from the Yorkshire-based mortgage broker show a 26% improvement in the company's national new build mortgage leads for January 2005 compared to the same month last year. And mortgage applications for newly constructed
properties are almost a third higher in January 2005 than during the last month of 2004.
These results come on the back of confirmation from lender The Woolwich stating that in January property buyers' confidence increased for the first-time in eight months, with 40% of home owners believing that the value of their properties will increase in value, compared to 39% in December.
The Woolwich consumer confidence index also revealed that first-time buyers are most confident of making money on their property, with 47% of 20-29 year olds believing that their properties will continue to increase in value compared to 41% in the 30-39 age group.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors also reports a slight decrease in property stock for sale, marking the first drop in eight months. The Institution also states that January saw a rise in newly agreed sales, which are up for the first time since April 2004.
According to Andrew Frankish, Mortgage Talk's Managing Director, the surge in new build mortgage enquiries during January is positive proof that the major builders are actively targeting first time buyers. 'Incentives such as shared ownership, cashbacks and deposit paid schemes are driving first time house hunters to seek out new properties. There is no doubt that builders now regard this sector of the market as offering the greatest potential for growth,' states Frankish.
'In addition, lenders are adding more guarantor mortgages, family offsets, longer terms and the like to their product portfolios which, together with revised affordability calculations, are making it easier for first time buyers to step onto the property ladder. Certainly, fuelling demand at the foot of the property chain is the surest way to ensure that the housing markets move ahead in the run up to Easter,' he concludes.