Wednesday 17 January 2018

Winners and losers: First-Time buyers

Cost of living down 1.9 per cent in the year
National average down 2.1 per cent

First-time buyers are not getting the same relief as some others through our falling living costs. Their cost of living has dropped slightly slower than the national average over the past year.

The biggest single monthly outlay for this segment of the population is their repayments on their home. While mortgage interest costs have dropped massively in the past two years, those falls have stopped. Mortgage costs are only 0.7 per cent cheaper than they were a year ago.

Glugging back a bottle of pinot while painting the sitting room wall is cheaper, with booze 8.1 per cent less expensive and household maintenance down 3.8 per cent. But look closer and you'll see a definite turn in the market, as wine prices actually rose from March to April this year.

Kitting out a new kitchen is cheaper with the cost of dishwashers and cookers and other household appliances falling 3.1 per cent. Electrical gadgets like games consoles or fancy iPod docking stations with woofers and tweeters are miles cheaper, falling by 12.5 per cent in price over the past 12 months.

But while the cost of lighting and heating fell, it is beginning to rise, up 2.3 per cent in the last six months. Given that many first-time buyers are based far from city centres, the rise in the cost of commuting will have a considerable effect. A 23.5 per cent rise in petrol prices and 3.8 per cent jump in bus prices will surely hurt.

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