First Time Home Buyer (Guide)

Why First-Time Buyers Choose Galliard Homes

Buying a new home can be one of the most stressful undertakings a person can experience, but also one of the most life-changing and liberating, particularly for newbie homeowners making their first move on the property market.

Galliard Homes is dedicated to not only building fantastic new homes, but also to helping guide first-time buyers as they embark on this both challenging and exciting process – be it though our great value price pledge, latest incentive offers and free advice.

Galliard recently launched its ‘Commuter Belt Collection’, which features seven new developments, now selling off-plan. They are strategically located with quick travel connections to the city. Prices start from as low as £149,995 and many are situated along the new Crossrail route. This is an ideal purchase for first-time buyers as the developments are available with Help to Buy.

View our Top London Locations for First-Time Buyers with Galliard Homes. For more information, read our guide to getting on the property ladder or call us now for free advice on 020 7620 1500.

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Orchard Wharf exterior ©Galliard Homes.
Galliard Homes

Orchard Wharf

Docklands, E14 0JJ
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Wimbledon Grounds exterior , ©Galliard Homes.
Galliard Homes

Wimbledon Grounds

Wimbledon, SW17 0BL
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Timber Yard exterior and communal gardens, computer generated image intended for illustrative purposes only, ©Galliard Homes.
Galliard Homes

Timber Yard

Birmingham City Centre, B5 6PA
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First-Time Buyer Market

According to The Halifax, the number of first-time buyers increased 70% in 2014 compared to figures during the financial crisis in 2008. Whilst this represents a boost in confidence for the avid prospective homeowner across the UK, the last two years has seen a rapid rise in London property prices, leading buyers further away from the capital to the surrounding commuter towns for more affordability.

Now, with mortgage rates currently at an all-time low and with a number of government initiatives on-hand to help first-time buyers such as Help to Buy and London Help to Buy, this is a fantastic time for eager homebuyers to seize the opportunity to purchase their first home. 

In February this year, it was reported that first-time home buyers have kept the housing market solid. In January, borrowers allegedly took out mortgages which totalled £18.9bn in January, according to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders

In May this year, Zoopla reported that first-time buyers have overtaken home movers for the first time in 20 years. The nation’s lending is being fuelled by first-time buyers who account for a greater share of advances for the first time since 1996.According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, over the past year, the number of first-time buyers sky-rocketed to 345,000. This is the highest figure since 2008, the report said. 

Use our property search to find your perfect London property for sale filtered by area, style and availability.  

Buying vs. Renting

There’s no doubt that owning your own home is a life goal that we all strive to achieve, but as prices for renting and buying continue to rise, newbie homeowners are finding themselves faced against an ultimatum: should I buy or should I rent?

It used to be that renting would be substantially cheaper than buying, allowing buyers to save for a healthy deposit, but recent research has found that the average UK three bedroom house costs £621 a month to own, compared to £741 to rent – meaning that owning a home saves around £1,440 a year.

However, where you decide to live plays a huge part when analysing the pros and cons of renting vs buying. Across the UK, more than 65% of properties are owner-occupied, but this figure is substantially lower in London with more than a quarter of a million more households forecast to be home to private renters by 2019 – taking the number of owner-occupied households down to 42%.

Naturally, if you can afford to buy, it does come with many advantages. Renters, of course, can enjoy the flexibility of not being tied down; however homeowners benefit from the security and peace of mind that they won’t have to leave once the tenancy agreement comes to an end or if the landlord decides to utilise a break clause. Renters won’t have the responsibility of repairing (and fitting the bill!) anything in the property, for example a broken boiler, but when it comes to alterations and renovations, homeowners have much more freedom to do what they please with their home without prior approval.

Despite the huge upfront costs – i.e. the deposit for the mortgage, stamp duty costs, legal fees, etc. – buying is a lifetime investment. Renting could save money in the short term, but buying means that you’re putting the money into your property rather than into the hands of a landlord without any long term reward. 

Galliard Homes has launched offers which utilise the government’s Help to Buy scheme, which has enabled more people to get onto the property ladder. In London, when a homeowner puts down a 5% deposit on a property, the government will give an equity loan of up to 40% of the purchase price.

Last year, the government announced that it had helped 150,000 people get onto the property ladder. The release added that 95% of completions took place outside of London and over half of completions were for new-build homes.

Register here for updates for more information. 

Government Initiatives for the First-Time Buyer

First-Time Buyers are essential to sustaining a healthy economy and property market; without them the market becomes illiquid, meaning that existing homeowners will have difficulty selling their homes, causing a rippling effect across the entire property market.

Help to Buy

When the number of first-time buyers hit a record low during the Credit Crunch, the government decided that newbie homeowners needed more of an incentive to buy and in 2013 Help to Buy was born. Described as the ‘biggest government intervention in the housing market since the Right to Buy scheme of the 1980s’, Help to Buy enables buyers to purchase a new home with just a 5% mortgage deposit, whereby the government provides the additional 10-20% in the form of either an equity loan or mortgage guarantee.

Launched in December 2015, the Help to Buy ISA also helps first-time buyers save for their deposit, rewarding them with a 25% increase on their savings. To read more about how it works, take a look at our dedicated guide.

For more information on our range of Help-to-Buy properties for sale, call us today to speak to our sales advisors on 020 7620 1500.

The Starter Home Initiative - New Build Homes London First Time Buyers

Launched in 2015, the new starter home initiative was introduced to allow house builders to develop under-used or inhabitable brownfield land without planning costs in return for a below market value sales prices on the homes built on the sites. Part of the government’s plan to ‘get Britain building’ and to give a further helping hand to hard-working first-time buyers, prospective homeowners can benefit from a 20% discount, saving the average person around £43,000

First Steps London

In 2013, former Mayor of London Boris Johnson launched the First Steps London initiative, which helps Londoners on modest or low incomes to buy or rent at a price they can afford. The scheme was part of an initiative to tackle the housing shortage in the city.

Also part of this scheme is First Steps Shared Ownership, which allows potential homeowners to buy a maximum share that they can afford in a new or existing shared ownership home. The shares start at 25% and can go up to a maximum of 75% of the market value of the property.

On the share where it is not owned, rent is paid on an initial cap of 3% on the part which is owned by the housing provider. For those who have purchased a property with shared areas, a service charge will be applied to pay for the upkeep of the building.

Visit our page on getting onto the property ladder for more information about owning a home.

Changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax

In 2014, Chancellor George Osbourne announced important changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax, claiming it would benefit some 98% of homeowners in England and Wales, particularly first-time buyers. Before, £1 could have made the difference between paying thousands less or thousands more, but the new system (introduced in April 2016) is said to be more progressive, meaning buyers will only have to pay the proportion of the property that’s at that rate.

In real terms under the old rules a first-time buyer purchasing a home at a purchase price of £209,000 would have had to pay £2,090. Under the new rules, however, they will only pay £1,680 – saving them £410.

According to PropertyInvestorToday, since the changes to the Stamp Duty Land Tax were enforced last year, analysis of data by Zoopla and the Land Registry has revealed that the number of houses changing hands has fallen by 19% across England and Wales. However, East London has remained a property-hotspot due to first-time buyers. 

You can use a Stamp Duty Land Tax calculator to assess how much Stamp Duty you will have to pay.

Galliard – Getting Londoners on the Ladder

Galliard Homes understands the importance of getting Londoners on the property ladder. We recognise the demand for starter apartments in profitable areas with the potential for capital growth, making it easier for first-time buyers to move up the ladder in the future.

First-time buyers have a fantastic range of developments to choose from across London and the Home Counties. With off-plan apartments priced from just £139,995, buyers will be able to enjoy huge capital growth once their home reaches completion, which will come in handy once homeowners decide to sell up and move up the property ladder.

With owner-occupiers heading outside of the capital, particular areas of interest include the peripheral counties of Berkshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Essex. Slough, for example, is home to two outstanding new Galliard developments – Skyline and Atria – which are set to see exponential growth on their respective properties once Crossrail arrives in 2019.

To see all the developments we currently offer along the Crossrail route, have a read of our dedicated guide to buying along the Elizabeth line.

For village style living, Pinnacle House in Kings Langley is the perfect choice for a starter home, sitting adjacent to the area’s Grant Union Canal, whilst being just two minutes’ walk from Kings Langley railway station for direct journeys into London Euston in just 23 minutes.

For a new home in suburban London, Galliard offers two exceptional developments in Hounslow – Central House and Craneshaw House. The former is a previously-successful development, which sold out in 2014, but is now back with a new phase featuring 25 contemporary one and two bedroom apartments, with the majority set to feature access to a private terrace.

Galliard’s development, Trinity Square in Hounslow, is selling off-plan now and is available with Help to Buy. This outstanding residential property will be converted into a modern development with luxurious interiors. Neighbouring Hayes will also benefit from the introduction of Crossrail in 2019, which is a short drive away from Hounslow.

To find out more about our developments and how we can find the property for you, contact us now for free advice on 020 7620 1500.


In 2017, Galliard launched a number of offers designed to help first-time buyers get their foot on the property ladder.

Free Furniture Package and Paid Stamp Duty at Atria

Atria in Slough is now available with two unmissable offers, which will be perfect for first-time buyers, as it is well situated with excellent transport links to the centre of London. Residents will be able to hop onto a First Great Western Express service to London Paddington in only 17 minutes.

From 2019, Slough will be on the Crossrail line, and residents will only be a seven minute drive to Slough station in order to access the high-speed railway line. Services to the city will be a speedy 40 minutes, which will make it ideal for London-based commuters.

Slough is also undergoing a £1 billion rejuvenation under “The Heart of Slough” scheme, which will see brand new office space, a large hotel, retail and leisure and a new cultural learning centre called The Curve.

First-time buyers can now benefit from a complimentary furniture package and paid stamp duty at the development.

Paid Stamp Duty and Free Furniture Package at Carlton House

Carlton House’s luxury starter homes will be finished to Galliard’s exacting standards and will be approximately 10 minutes from Luton station.

Galliard Homes is offering the development with paid Stamp Duty and a complimentary furniture package – which will be ideal for first-time buyers, looking to break into the property market.

Stay up-to-date with our latest offers, which often include service charge holidays, paid stamp duty, complimentary furniture packages and free parking. To find out more about our developments and how we can find the property for you, contact us now for free advice on 020 7620 1500.