First-time buyers at six year high

For the first time since October 2007 the number of monthly first-time buyers topped 29,000 with 29,100 in December.

According to the latest First Time Buyer Opinion Barometer from LSL Property Services the average deposit for a first-time buyer fell to £26,533 in December, 3.6% lower than a year before.

Despite these falling deposits, first-timers are being forced to take out larger mortgages with the average mortgage climbing 11.4% over 2013 to reach £122,040 in December.

David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, owners of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: “First-time buyers are returning to the market in their droves, as the property market emerges fully from the shadow of the financial crisis.

“There is a greater array of deals on offer to buyers with just a small deposit saved, and schemes like Help to Buy are providing vital support to help new buyers access the very best rates.

“As with the entire market, prices are quickly climbing upwards, but lower rates mean that mortgage repayments are still affordable, despite new buyers having to purchase property with a higher price tag.”

The average first-time buyer in December was 31 years old, with an annual salary of £36,621 per annum, up 7.3% higher from December 2012, when the average salary was £34,129.

First-time buyers typically had to wait longer to buy in and around the capital. The average first-time buyer was 32 in London and the South East with an annual salary of £41,616.

But in the rest of the UK, the average first-time buyer was just 30, with an average annual income of £31,731.

78% of first-time buyers wanted to buy a house rather than a flat, with 43% of first-timers looking for a house with three or more bedrooms, 33% for a two bedroom house, and just 1% for a one bedroom house.

Flats were more popular in London — where a third of first-timers were looking to buy a flat, but overall remained the second choice for most first-time buyers.

44% of first-time buyers were able to self-fund their purchase — a fall of just 1% from 45% a year ago.

While 37% of first-timers received financial help to put together a deposit from parents or relatives, 7% benefitted from an inheritance, and 2% received familial help with mortgage repayments.

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