11 Mar 2016
First time buyers are having to stretch themselves further than ever to get on the property ladder - with the majority now taking mortgages over more than 25 year terms.
New statistics from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that 58% of young purchasers took out a mortgage lasting longer than quarter of a century at the end of last year.
This compares with just 32% of first time buyers a decade ago in 2006.
Mounting affordability pressures, such as house prices outpacing earnings growth across much of the UK, has been blamed for the increase.
Allan Gardner, Financial Services Director at Aberdein Considine, a leading independent broker of mortgages, said lengthening payment terms provide strong evidence that these pressures are further intensifying.
"Although the use of longer terms varies greatly across different types of borrower, reflecting their respective age profiles, the underlying trend is clear," he said.
"Among first-time buyers, the proportion of borrowers taking out loans with a maturity of more than 25 years has continued to increase and now accounts for nearly 60% of the total, roughly double that of a decade ago.
"Although greater pension freedoms and the fact that we are living longer will be influences, the quantum nature of the shift suggests that it is mainly to do with stretching incomes to get on the housing ladder.
"With little to suggest prices are about to start tumbling, the 30 year mortgage looks likely to become 'the norm' for first time buyers."
However, financial help is at hand for first time buyers in Scotland.
Aberdein Considine has launched a major new campaign to help young people onto the property ladder. Between February 1st and April 30th 2016, first time buyers are being given a 50% discount on their legal fees, saving them hundreds of pounds.
A series of special open days will also be held across Scotland, where lawyers, mortgage advisers and property experts will all be on hand to answer any questions potential movers may have, free of charge - including ones in Aberdeen and Perth tomorrow (Saturday March 12).
For more information about the 50% discount, call 0333 00 66 333 or click here.