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Niche firms set to make 2005 year of first-time buyer

Money Marketing mortgage round table

2005 will prove to be the year of the first time buyer, according to a group of mortgage experts at a Money Marketing mortgage round table discussions.

The pressure to bring FTBs back into the market will force lenders to re-investigate their product offerings and come up with a product suitable for this part of the market said panel members.

They agreed that more lenders will look at breaking into this area but they also believed that the issue of FTBs is being used as a political football.

Mortgage Express managing director Tim Dawson said the only way to help FTBs, who are income -poor and asset-poor, is through Government subsidy.

Alliance & Leicester head of intermediary mortgages Mehrdad Yousefi said that buyers have to be more realistic as to their capacity and the const-raints on them in this market. He believes that the Government will look at increasing the lowest band for stamp duty from 60,000.

Newcastle Mortgage Services sales director Tony Ibson said: “Niche players can see a massive opportunity in FTBs which they will certainly pick up on this year.”

Purely Mortgages chief executive Mark Chilton says: “Stamp duty is only scratching the surface. The inability for our children to get on the property ladder is a major social issue. The solution is for some degree of shared equity. There is an investor class ready for this now.”

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