first home

First Time Buyers Fortnight – why 2018 is a great year to step onto the property ladder

First Time Buyers Fortnight runs from Monday 12 February to Sunday 25 February and to celebrate, we’re looking at why now is the perfect time to invest in bricks and mortar.

Owning a home is undoubtedly a dream for many, and those looking to buy soon could reap huge rewards by making their move in 2018.

The property market is stable, with experts suggesting house prices on the whole should remain steady over the coming 12 months. And, while the Bank of England is expecting interest rates to rise, they are unlikely to exceed 0.75 percent throughout the course of the year.

“Mortgage rates are still very affordable, and we expect that to continue in 2018,” said Barratt sales director, Andrea Pilgrim. “It is important to ‘stress-test’ your finances, making sure they can withstand any increase in rates – but we’re not expecting any major rises in the very near future.


Great opportunities for first time buyers

“Because of this, there are plenty of opportunities for anyone looking to own their first home – even for those struggling to save for a deposit. Schemes like Help to Buy, for example, are an excellent option for first time buyers who may have little cash to spare up-front.”

Help to Buy is available on all new-build properties up to £600,000 in England. Buyers can become owners with just a five percent deposit of the property value of their new home. Many lenders are able to offer a loan-to-value mortgage because the UK Government provides a guarantee of up to 20 percent.

“Gaining a foot-hold on the property ladder can make a huge difference to those who are used to renting, because mortgage repayments on a similar standard of home are almost always more affordable,” added Andrea “And now the government has abolished stamp duty for all first time buyers in England and Scotland for the first £300,000 of homes worth up to £500,000 – making it even easier to buy.


New build homes are perfect for first time buyers

“New-build properties are particularly popular among first time buyers. Apart from the array of schemes available to make the purchasing process easier, there are a number of other benefits to be had.

“Those living in new-builds have very little maintenance to worry about. The 10 year NHBC guarantee and our own two year warranty on fixtures and fittings certainly offer peace of mind.

“Energy bills will be lower too, with new technology forming an integral part of the build when we create homes. This, combined with the tools to closely control temperature, makes choosing new over an older property a much more attractive prospect.

“The savings are far greater than most people believe – even on a smaller home. Buyers with a three bedroom semi-detached house could keep up to £840 each year, which would otherwise be spent on heating.

“New homes also offer a blank canvas, allowing people to create their own surroundings to suit them, with the minimum of effort.

“Our developments offer a wide range of home designs that are perfect for first time buyers – from one and two bedroom apartments to houses that offer plenty of extra space to grow into. And there are plenty ready-and-waiting for new owners in 2018.”

To find out more about new homes and home buying schemes, visit or call 0844 5710 385