First time buyer numbers reach nine year high

2016 saw more first-time home buyers than at any point since the financial crisis, according to new research.

The Halifax estimated that last year saw the number of first-time buyers grow to 335,750, which is the largest amount since 2007’s figure of 359,000.

On average however, the first-time deposit currently stands at £32,000, more than double that of 2007.

The  first home average price barrier of £200,000 was also broken according to the Halifax, with prices reaching beyond this level for the first time.

The rise in first-time buyer numbers was attributed to low mortgage rates and high employment levels, according to Martin Ellis. The Halifax housing economist stated that these factors had “supported the market”.

“Government schemes such as Help to Buy have improved affordability, enabling more first-time buyers to buy their own property.”

The First-Time Buyer Review from the Halifax estimated that there was a 7.3% rise in the number of buyers entering the market during 2016. This figure would therefore stand 75% higher than the 2008 all-time low for first-time purchases of 192,300.

Despite the rise, the current figure does not yet quite match the 2006 peak of 402,800.

Ten years ago, the average first-time deposit was £15,168 across the UK, a figure which stood last year at £32,321.

The increase in property prices has also resulted in longer mortgages being taken out by those trying to get on to the property ladder.

25 years or longer was the length of a mortgage for 60% of first time buyers in 2016. 28% took one out with a term of 30-35 years.

Only 36% of first time buyers borrowed for a period in excess of 25 years a decade ago.

This figure is variable however, dependent upon which region is looked at.

In 2016, the average price paid by a first time buyer on a UK level was £205,170 – a record high figure. In London however, this was nearly doubled, with the average price reaching another all-time high of £402,692.

Northern Ireland was the least expensive region, with average first property costs of £115,269.

In this region, the average deposit paid has dropped by a fifth in ten years to £16,695.

For London however, the average deposit has grown by 276% over that period to £100,445.





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