Narrow choice for first-time buyers
First-time buyers are facing a double whammy of adverse conditions as they try to get on the property ladder.
Cautious lenders are making increasingly challenging demands on potential new borrowers.
And those who gain mortgage approvals are likely to face a narrower choice of properties due to a lack of sellers, according to a report by Rightmove.
The property site said there were fewer flats and terrace properties - generally most suitable for first-time buyers - advertised for sale in the final quarter of 2011. The number of terraced houses on the market fell by 31 per cent while the number of flats for sale dipped by 28 per cent.
And there were significantly fewer new properties advertised for sale in the final three months of 2011 than in the third quarter, it reported.
As with many facets of the market, London is streets ahead of the rest of Britain, with 41.5 per cent of house buyers in the capital this year expected to be first-timers compared with 26.3 per cent in the North West (the next highest proportion) and just 19 per cent in the East Midlands.
Copyright Press Association 2012