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Gary Adams from Mortgage Strategy highlights the changing preference of First Time Buyers for longer mortgage terms

Longer mortgages the norm for first-time buyers

The majority of first-time buyers are opting for longer-term mortgages, shows a new report from Nationwide.
In 2010, nearly half – 45 per cent – of FTBs chose a mortgage with an initial term of over 25 years. By 2020, this had risen to 70 per cent.
Nationwide says that increasing a mortgage term from 25 years to 35 years adds 40 per cent to the total interest paid on the loan.
As well as this, raising a deposit continues to present a challenge. While the house price to average earnings ratio has dipped slightly since 2007’s record high –from 5:4 to 5:2, this still means that a 20 per cent deposit is the equivalent to 104 per cent of the pre-tax income of an average full-time employee.
This compares to 87 per cent ten years ago.
There is, of course, significant differences in each region. In London, it would take the average full-time wage earner just under 16 years to save a 20 per cent deposit, while in Scotland and the North of England, five and a half years.
And lower borrowing costs change the picture slightly. Nationwide senior economist Andrew Harvey says: “FTB mortgage payments (based on an 80 per cent LTV mortgage, at prevailing mortgage rates) are currently slightly below the long run average, at 28 per cent of take-home (net) pay.
“Affordability improved significantly between 2007 and 2009, primarily due to the fall in house prices in the wake of the financial crisis, and remained low, thanks to the decline in borrowing costs to all-time lows.” founder and chief executive Colby Short adds: “There is a large regional difference where mortgage deposits are concerned.
“However, it’s important to note that house price affordability is relative to the earnings available in each area and so a lower house price doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easier for buyers in these regions.”

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