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First Time Buyers at 10 Year High

Saturday, January 27, 2018

The number of first-time buyers in Britain has reached a 10-year high of 359,000, despite the average deposit soaring by 91pc over the same period. According to Halifax's first-time buyer review, the number of people taking their first step on to the property ladder has risen 6pc over the past 12 months, continuing an upward trend of six years.

Buyers seem not to have been hindered by the rising cost of a deposit – which is now £33,339, compared to £17,740 in 2007, or spiralling house prices. The typical first home is now 21pc (£37,377) more expensive than it was a decade ago, at an average of £212,079.

However, the figures show that Londoners are being priced out of the property market, with the number of first-time buyers in the capital falling 26pc over the past 10 years. With a chronic lack of supply in the market, and homes in London averaging £422,580, young adults are being forced to rent for longer and live with parents until they can afford their first home.

Aside from the capital and the north of England, which has experienced a 5pc drop in the number of first-time buyers since 2007, all other regions of the UK have recorded a rise in the number of first-steppers. Northern Ireland has seen the biggest growth, of 65pc, in 10 years.

Halifax said total first-time buyer levels had almost returned to those last seen in 2007, when 359,900 took their first step on to the property ladder, before the figure tumbled to 192,300 a year later during the financial crisis. First-time buyers now account for half of all house purchases with a mortgage, an increase from 36pc a decade ago. The average age of someone in the UK buying their first home is 30 years old.

Russell Galley of Halifax said: "This 10-year high in the number of first-time buyers shows continued healthy movement in this key area despite a shortage of homes and the ongoing challenge of saving enough of a deposit." He added: “Low mortgage rates, high levels of employment and Government schemes such as Help to Buy have helped first-time buyers become a much greater segment of the market, and the recent abolition of stamp duty on purchases of up to £300,000 is likely to continue stimulating this growth by reducing the upfront costs associated with taking the first step on to the property ladder.”

While the Government's Help to Buy scheme has allowed many first-time buyers across the country to get on the property ladder with a 5pc deposit, the take-up in London has been far lower as the threshold of £600,000 means that many newbuild properties are too expensive to qualify.

Article taken in part from www.telegraph.co.uk

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