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Abbey advises first time buyers

The 1.1 million first time buyers who are putting off their purchases thanks to the credit crunch should save their deposits wisely, Abbey said today.According to the mortgage lender, around £31 billion has been collectively saved by this group in the expectation of buying a home.However, the crunch has led to many firms tightening their mortgage criteria - making it much harder to secure a loan.A further worry is negative equity - with Abbey research also revealing that 69 per cent of people feel that house prices are falling at the moment and 74 per cent having their enthusiasm for homeownership "dampened" by these concerns.This is partially confirmed by the recent monthly survey from Halifax, which found that property costs had fallen by 2.5 per cent across March.Mortgage director at Abbey Phil Cliff commented: "Those delaying purchasing a home would benefit greatly from moving their deposits into high interest saving accounts."

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