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FTBs made up almost half of all mortgages last month

The number of first time buyers grew 11 per cent in December 2006 to 48 per cent of all mortgages, according to Mortgage Direct, the highest figure since its survey on the industry began.

The company puts the growth down to an increased income, multiple lending and a confidence in their own financial security.

Mortgages Direct director Peter Gladdy says the increase in FTBs, along with a slight increase in buy-to-let mortgages, goes against all normal seasonal trends and may well reflect a renewed determination to get onto the housing ladder.

He says the general optimism evident in the house price predictions for 2007, ranging from growth of 3.5 per cent to as much as 10 per cent has also helped these buyers take the plunge.

He says: “First time buyers ave been able to take advantage of some good fixed rate deals and the high level of loans may also be a reflection of the increased generosity of lenders offering income multiples of up to five times. However, FTBs should be careful not to over-stretch their finances and make sure that they are confident about being able to afford the repayments, especially when deals end.”

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A happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to all the wonderful people I have met working within financial services. Do you know what 2007 will bring? How about these not insignificant things as a starter?

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