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Buyers 'struggle to find a mortgage'

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First-time buyers have to save up the equivalent of 81.8 per cent of their joint incomes in order to afford mortgages, a new study has claimed.

Typical upfront starting costs to take out mortgages on first homes stand at an average of �32,784, according to a new accessibility index from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

The index also found that the cost of securing mortgages worsened by 13.8 per cent during the course of last year and affordability levels compared to 1996 have worsened by 230 per cent.

Unless the government builds more affordable housing and raises the stamp duty threshold, many households will continue to struggle to access the housing market, remarked David Stubbs, a senior economist with Rics.

Spiralling house prices have created a property glass ceiling for many first-time buyers.

The expert added that the affordability of mortgages is likely to worsen shortly as the Bank of England is widely anticipated to raise interest rates in February.

According to figures cited by Leeds Building Society, there is an 81 per cent chance that the base rate will be raised next month.

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