31 Dec

Research marks affordability rise

Research marks affordability rise

New research has indicated that the affordability situation is improving, particularly for first-time buyers.

Figures from Halifax show that the ratio of price to annual income has fallen from 5.84 in July 2007 to 4.56 in November 2008, the best figure since July 2003.

Historically, the ratio has been around four.

First-time buyers have seen a notable improvement in their circumstances, as seven of the 12 UK regions have seen a rise in the number of local authorities where the average price is affordable.

Commenting on the trends, Halifax chief economist Martin Ellis stated: "There has been a marked improvement in housing affordability in many parts of the UK. First-time buyers, in particular, are benefiting, especially outside the south of England and the Midlands."

Mr Ellis predicted a continuation of the trend in 2009, echoing views recently expressed by Paul Holmes, the chief executive of first-time buyer specialists Firstrung.

He stated that those entering the property market will be able to buy larger homes than would previously have been the case.

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