First-time buyer numbers fall, say CML

The number of first-time buyers has fallen, according to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

The number of loans borrowed by first-time buyers decreased to 35,600 in June, in comparison to 39,800 during June 2006 – the lowest June figure since 2004.

The research also indicated that the five interest rate hikes since August 2006 are continuing to affect the property market as the first-time buyer income multiple reached 3.37.

Commenting on the figures, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said: "This is further evidence that higher mortgage costs are beginning to impact on borrowers."

Mr Rubinsohn also stated that in the face of a further rate increase, it is reasonable that new buyers are seeking to protect themselves through seeking financial advice when deciding what mortgages may suit them best.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) is the trade association for the mortgage lending industry. Its membership includes building societies, banks and other lenders of mortgages.