Skipton Building Society  

Lisa to drive first-time buyer surge in 2018

Lisa to drive first-time buyer surge in 2018

Next year will be the year of the first-time buyer as a wave of younger people take their first step on the housing ladder, Skipton Building Society has predicted.

The building society revealed more than 80 per cent of the 48,000 Lifetime Isa (Lisa) accounts it has opened are for people looking to get on the property ladder.

With the initial wave of Lisa customers coming to the market to buy their first homes next year, Skipton has anticipated a surge in demand.

Kris Brewster, head of products at Skipton, said: "We predict 2018 to be the year of the first-time buyer.

"First-time buyers are the lifeblood of the housing market, and any step that makes getting the keys to your first home easier will naturally help more first-time buyers."

Lisas were launched in April to help people save for a home or finance their retirement.

Savers can put up to £4,000 a year into a Lisa until they are 50, with the government adding a 25 per cent bonus up to a maximum of £1,000 per year.

First-time buyers were also given a boost when chancellor Philip Hammond scrapped stamp duty for the majority of them in the Autumn Budget.

The move will save first-time buyers up to £5,000 on the average house purchase in London, according to AJ Bell.

Mr Brewster said an increase in the number of new build properties would also help those looking to take their first step on the property ladder in 2018.

But he warned that more needed to be done to address the supply shortage and called on planners, developers, builders, lenders and buyers to come together to tackle the issue.

He said: "We know there’s a housing shortage, where supply of new homes can't keep up with demand, so we welcome all the initiatives taking place to support this key group of buyers. 

"But we must make sure this intervention doesn’t have unintended consequences for second time buyers. If savings at one end of the housing market are made by being passed on at the other end, then the positive impact for first time buyers will be limited."