45% increase in first-time buyers
There were 26,100 sales to first-time buyers in July, the highest level since November 2007.
According to the latest First Time Buyer Monitor from LSL Property Services, the number of first-time buyers rose 45% year-on-year in July.
The improvement was put down to a sharp increase in the affordability of mortgages.
The average mortgage rate fell from 4.92% in July last year to 3.99% this year.
The proportion of income represented by mortgage repayments fell year-on-year from 21.6% to 20.4%.
David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, said: “Economic confidence is returning, nudging many more buyers in the direction of property, and nudging lenders to offer more loans to buyers with smaller deposits.
“Rates have fallen sharply, and there are good deals to be had for savvy first-time buyers, which has made a mortgage much easier to come by.
“The uptick in confidence, beneficial to both parties, is contagious.
“But there is a down-side to the good news. There is simply not enough housing stock to match continued demand. If supply fails to keep pace with demand the housing market will become increasingly unsustainable.
“Prices will rise sharply, and future first time buyers will be left in the lurch.”