First-time buyers struggling to secure mortgages

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First-time buyers are being pushed out of the housing market by difficulties in obtaining mortgages, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

Lenders are now demanding an average deposit of 16 per cent for a mortgage from first-time buyers, compared to an average of 11 per cent in May.

The new figures also show that the number of first-time buyers has halved since last year, and that the number of loans given in August was 42,200, down 60 per cent from last year.

A housing market survey published this week by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors showed that estate agents are selling less than one house a week and the London area has been hit hardest, with estate agents selling an average of only eight houses in the last three months.

Meanwhile, the cost of tracker rate mortgages is increasing in spite of the 0.5 per cent cut in interest rates.

Banks say that the high demand for tracker mortgages has contributed to the rise in cost.

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