Mortgage match-making could soon be the norm for first-time buyers in North London
PUBLISHED: 13:57 19 March 2015 | UPDATED: 13:57 19 March 2015
Finding a housemate and even a date online is now part and parcel of city living for young professionals. But north Londoners desperate to get that coveted first foot on the property ladder are now going online to join forces- and finances- with like-minded strangers looking to buy their first property.
Described as a mortgage match-making service for young professionals struggling to stump up the capital for a deposit, sites like PropertyBuyersMatch.co.uk are offering first-time buyers in trendy areas like Hampstead, Crouch End and Islington a personality and property matching service to help them find the perfect co-owner.
With many young professionals trapped in a cycle of renting and the price of an average London home soaring by 18% to £508,000 last year, it is little wonder that rising prices for starter properties combined with increasingly stringent loan criteria can make getting a mortgage seem almost impossible.
Claire Beauchamp-Ward of Pricket and Ellis Estate Agents in Muswell Hill said: “This kind of pairing up is going to be very much the future for first time buyers.
“Young professionals who do not have help from their families with a deposit are finding it difficult to get a mortgage and borrowing has been hit across the board as lenders become more strict in their lending criteria.
The agent said mortgage match-making is a practical extension of first-time buyers who club together with siblings or friends to make their first purchase, but warned that taking out a mortgage with a stranger may raise an extra “red flag” for some agents who will have to carry out additional checks.
Young professional Emma Leicester who set up PropertyBuyersMatch.co.uk with her business partner Iain Hawthorn said: “London property is astronomically expensive and many who want to make the capital their home have resigned themselves to renting for life.
“Friends are telling me about their acute frustrations in trying to find an affordable place to buy in the areas of London where they both currently rent and which they really love. With so many now facing similar challenges I really wanted to do something to help.”