2016: The Year of the First-Time Buyer

15 December 2015

2016: The Year of the First-Time Buyer

As 2015 draws to a close we often reflect on the year past and look to the New Year and the excitement it can bring. 2015 was a very exciting year for my partner and I as, after years of scrimping, saving and agonising over rising house prices, we managed to buy our first home. 

Over the coming months I will be writing a series of blogs to help first-time buyers - whether you are just beginning to think about it, have saved up your deposit or are already buying a property. 

So, why do I think 2016 is the year of the first-time buyer?


The Help-to-Buy ISA – way back in March 2015 it was announced in the Budget that the Government would support FTB’s through this scheme. In short you can save up to £200 per month and George Osborne and co. will give you 25% on top of that - up to £3,000 absolutely free in your deposit when you buy a house. Money Saving Expert have a very helpful overview on their website


Help-to-Buy – You can potentially buy a house with just a 5% deposit. With the average terraced house in West Sussex costing just short of £265,000 (Rightmove that is still a lot of money to save up but it means you can set your savings target a lot lower.


Changes in Stamp Duty – from April 2016, buy-to-let and second home owners will be forced to pay an extra 3% stamp duty surcharge on property purchases. Good news for first-time buyers because starter homes and small houses often provide the best opportunities for landlords and holiday homeowners. The surcharge should begin to level the playing field for first-time buyers.


New Homes – demand for house building continues to grow. New homes are a great option for first-time buyers as developers often offer incentives (see below). You’ll also get the added comfort of a long-term guarantee, meaning you can avoid the DIY altogether and just head straight to the furniture shop. Check out the selection of developments our New Homes department has available here (


Developer’s Incentives – some building companies and developers offer contributions towards stamp duty, conveyancing fees and other costs involved with buying a house. Should you qualify, shared equity opportunities are also available; you could buy a 40% share in a house and pay a subsidised rent to the developer on the remaining 60%. You can still combine shared equity with Help-to-Buy and other mortgage products.


If you’re thinking of buying a house next year or you have a family member who needs some help then please contact your local Henry Adams branch or tweet me - @JackTompkinsHA.


In my next blog I’ll look at how you can get saving for that deposit with some helpful tips along the way.

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