Page last updated at 23:59 GMT, Tuesday, 14 October 2008 00:59 UK

The brighter side to the credit crisis

In times of economic crisis, some of our BBC News website readers are trying to see a silver lining.

Some first-time buyers who had been trying to get on the property ladder without any luck are now taking advantage of the cheaper prices of repossessed homes.

Luke Spence is now the owner of a one-bedroom flat in Birmingham. He tells how if the property hadn't been repossessed from its previous owners he wouldn't have been able to afford it.

Like other first-time buyers though, he has faced charges from his bank for having a small deposit.

Luke Spence
I didn't go looking to buy a flat that day; I was actually looking to find somewhere to rent.

I saw the flat advertised in the estate agents window for 89,000. It caught my eye because it was 10,000 less than the other properties in that building.

When I asked why the flat was so cheap they told me that it had been repossessed by the bank and they were looking to make a quick sale.

Because they were desperate to get rid of the property, I was able to buy it for less than the asking price and with only a 5% deposit. Admittedly, because I had a small deposit the bank is charging me extra in mortgage repayments.

Through a little research on the internet I was able to find out that the previous owners paid 160,000 for my flat. It's amazing to think that in the space of a few years property prices have dropped so dramatically.

I moved to Birmingham five years ago and property prices were already high. I could never have afforded to buy anything if it wasn't for this credit crisis.

If anyone has a small amount of money in savings, I would say now is the time to buy.

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