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Crunch hitting first time buyers

First time buyers are finding it increasingly hard to get on the housing ladder, one of the UK's largest homebuilders has warned. Latterly, the credit crunch has forced banks to tighten their lending criteria, meaning that it is currently much harder to secure home loans than before. First time buyers are the group most likely to suffer, with lenders now typically asking for deposits of 25 per cent of the value of the home. Howard Dane, chairman of Bellway, said: "The current housing market can be described as tough, caused primarily by a change in consumer confidence and the continuing credit crisis. "Particularly hard-hit are first-time buyers who are having to find larger deposits in order to make their first step on to the housing ladder."Mr Dane's downbeat forecast came as the company, which is the UK's fourth-largest housebuilder, announced interim profits of £96.6 million. This represents a drop of almost four per cent compared with the same period last year.

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