Affordability pressures ‘to ease in 2008’

Affordability for first-time buyers gradually worsened throughout 2007, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

However the organisation claimed that recent cuts in the base rate will ease this financial pressure throughout 2008.

Last week the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee cut the base rate by a quarter-point to 5.25 per cent.

“Affordability has been stretched further in 2007 but the recent base rate cuts and the expectation of future cuts will ease debt servicing burdens in 2008,” said CML director general Michael Coogan, adding that borrowers coming to the end of fixed-rate mortgages will have less of a financial burden than originally expected.

First-time buyers will benefit from increased affordability as the year progresses, Mr Coogan continued, citing slower inflation growth and lower mortgage rates as factors for this.

CML figures show that in December the average first-time buyer had to contribute 20.7 per cent of their income towards mortgage interest, compared to 17.9 per cent the previous year.

In anticipation of base rate reductions 64 per cent of borrowers opted for fixed-rate mortgages in December, compared to 77 per cent in June and July.

© Adfero Ltd

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