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FTBs are falling faster in the UK

The proportion of first-time buyers in the UK has fallen more rapidly than in any other country, according to research published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

The research report – International Trends in Housing Tenure and Mortgage Finance, produced by Kathleen Scanlon and Christine Whitehead at the London School of Economics – compares international trends in housing tenure and mortgage finance.

The research says despite the fall in interest rates and mortgage costs, a decade of rising house prices has seen the proportion of first-time buyers in the UK fall more sharply than the rest of Europe, the US and Australia.

Falling homeownership among young people was established in half of the countries surveyed. Only the US showed a significant increase in homeownership among young people.

The research says the UK mortgage market is one of the most diverse with many new lenders and different types of loans. There are signs that the rest of European mortgage markets may follow the UK’s example in this area but the tax and benefit system is less favourable for UK owner-occupiers than the rest of Europe.

CML director general Michael Coogan says: “Government policy on benefits is unhelpful, with only 6 per cent of housing-related benefit paid to the 70 per cent who are owner-occupiers. Encouraging the spread of homeownership would help the Government fulfil a number of broader policy objectives.”

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