Yorkshire had the highest percentage of purchases in August to people with small deposits -- typically first time buyers -- in the UK, according to new analysis.
A total of 35.4 per cent of all loans in Yorkshire were to those with small deposits, the analysis by chartered surveyors e.surv, which employs more than 600 residential surveyors across the UK, shows. This compares with 34.5 per cent in the North West and 31.2 per cent in the midlands.
London had the lowest rate of first time buyers, with 19.4 per cent, reflecting the high cost of buying a home in the capital.
Small deposit borrowers are those with a loan to value of 85 per cent and above.
Katie Platts, senior sales negotiator at Lindley & Simpson in Leeds, said there was a good supply of property for first time buyers in the area, despite a slight increase in the numbers of first time buyers the estate agent had seen.
She said: “We have good affordable housing here so we get a lot of first time buyers. One thing that seems to have made a difference in recent years has been the Help to Buy ISA which is a reward for the assets people have. There are lots of things in place now to help first time buyers -- including, earlier in the year, a zero per cent mortgage from Lloyds -- which all make a difference.”
Jennifer Jones, 28, an admin assistant who recently bought a two bedroom flat with her partner in York, said the couple had no problem getting a mortgage once they had a deposit.
“Ironically, it was easy to prove we would be able to afford a mortgage and find a suitable rate because we were spending considerably more every month on rent. The hardest bit by far was saving for a deposit.
“We had quite a miserable few years trying to save, without being able to go on holiday or spend anything on meals out or a new phone or anything. The good thing is, we’re now in a more financially comfortable position, so we can do those things, and we live in a bigger, nicer place. So it’s been totally worth it.”
She added that paying rent while saving “felt ridiculous”.
“It took us about five years to save just over £40,000, which is a lot and I know we’ve done well, but I think we probably spent £50,000 on rent during the same time, maybe more.”
Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, said: “The rise in the number of small deposit customers shows the property market is starting to tilt in favour of first-time buyers and others unable to pull together large deposits.
“The number of mortgage schemes to help first-time buyers has also given then a timely boost.
“While Yorkshire has continued to lead the way as the small deposit borrower hotspot, other regions are proving equally attractive to first-time buyers.
“The North West and Northern Ireland have both proven to be excellent places for people to buy if they have little cash to spare.
“Those in London and the South East have less opportunity, but with prices slowing the most in these areas, there are still great chances for first-time buyers to get onto the ladder.”
Each month, e.serve researchers analyse tens of thousands of valuations and use these trends to extrapolate from the Bank of England’s mortgage data to publish mortgage approval numbers.