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It’s a great time to buy your first UK property – here’s why

by Marlon Borez | Jun 03, 2019
  • Better prices for buyers, increased bargaining power and competitive mortgage rates make it the perfect time to buy your first UK property. Learn why it’s a buyer’s market and what you can do to prepare for your purchase.
    Property with price tage

    The housing market has slowed down in the last few years. Many potential homeowners are waiting to see how Brexit pans out and if there are any knock-on effects on the economy. This has led to cooling London house prices and properties on the market taking longer to sell. It’s not all doom and gloom though, there are good opportunities for first-time buyers to get their foot in the door and on the property ladder.

    Increased bargaining power

    Change has been quick – first-time buyers have increased bargaining power compared to a couple of years ago. The market has reversed, and buyers can often negotiate asking prices while sellers accept lower offers. This is great news for first-time buyers, especially in London, where rapid price growth in previous years has priced many out of the market.

    Take advantage of low rates still on offer

    Even though there’s been a small 0.50% increase in the Bank of England base rate over the last year and a half, lenders are still offering very competitive mortgage deals. Rates will eventually start increasing again, but while they’re low, first-time buyers are able to take advantage of the affordable finance available. Lower rates will reduce monthly mortgage payments, giving you left-over cash each month.

    Banks are providing low deposit, high loan-to-value (LTV) mortgages

    A main barrier for first-time buyers entering the market has always been the sizeable deposit. Over the last few years most banks have introduced mortgages that only require a 10% deposit. Some mainstream banks require as little as a 5% deposit. The lower deposit requirement to get on the housing ladder has been a big help to cash-strapped younger savers. Banks will also allow the deposit to be a gift from family members.

    Need mortgage advice?

    What to do before you buy

    It’s a great time to buy, but before you make the purchase there are a few things to keep in mind.

    Save for your deposit

    It’s not just about affording the mortgage repayments; you’ll need to have enough for a deposit on the house. Thankfully, deposits aren’t as large as they once were, but it still pays to save. If you can put down a larger deposit, you can get a better rate on your mortgage.

    Consider other costs

    It’s not only the cost of mortgage repayments. There are other charges such as Stamp Duty, survey and solicitor fees, insurance and redecorating costs to consider. You need to make sure you’re prepared for the extra fees.

    Do your mortgage research

    There are many types of mortgages, such as buy-to-let, commercial, residential and non-resident mortgages. Read up on them so you can approach your mortgage application with the knowledge you need to make the right decisions.

    Gather the paperwork

    Lenders will want some documentation to calculate how much you can afford to pay each month. They’ll look at things like proof of identity and address, bank statements, payslips and evidence of your deposit. If you’re working freelance or as a contractor, they can work out your affordability using your day rate or current contract.

    See also: Contractor mortgages: What you need to know for a successful application

    Compare your options

    You don’t need to buy the first affordable property you lay your eyes on. When you’re looking for a new house, take location into consideration. Think about things like why the house is on the market, how the price compares to others in the same area, and if it will work for your needs.

    When you’ve decided on a home and you’re looking for a mortgage, don’t just jump at the first offer. Compare mortgages using an online calculator to see which one works for you.

    Get advice

    Ask your family and friends for their opinions and weigh up all their input before you make your decision. The more knowledge you have, the better informed your position. Speak to a mortgage advisor to get whole-of-market mortgage advice and assistance.


    We provide UK mortgage advice and assistance that guides you through the process from start to finish. Get in touch with us at mortgages@sableinternational.com or call +44 (0) 20 7759 7519 to speak to a consultant.

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

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