MORE than 160,000 people bought their first property in the first half of 2017, a figure that is just 15 per cent lower than during the peak of the first-time buyer market in 2006, according to new statistics.
The latest Halifax First Time Buyer Review reveals the exact number of first-time buyers between January and June was 162,704, only slightly lower than the all-time high of 190,900.
In addition, these transactions made up 47 per cent of all property purchases financed by a mortgage during the period. In April 2013, upon the launch of the Help to Buy scheme, this figure was 44 per cent, indicating the extent of growth in the first-time buyer sector in recent years.
Kevin Shaw, national sales director at property specialist Leaders, says: “The first-time buyer market is extremely strong, both in terms of the number of purchases and buying prices, which are now higher than ever before.”
“A number of factors – including low mortgage rates, high employment levels and schemes such as Help to Buy – have allowed more people to get on the property ladder. First-time buyers now form a major part of the UK housing market and are responsible for almost half of all mortgaged purchases.
“An abundance of first-time buyers is also a huge plus for the market as a whole, as their presence and ability to buy allows many more people who want to sell and move up the ladder the chance to do so by selling to a first-time buyer.
“Owning a property remains an ambition for millions of Brits and the good news is that it is becoming more achievable year on year. I would advise prospective first-time buyers to speak to a local property expert to begin their search for a home they can afford in a suitable location.”
It is the third time in four years that the number of first-time buyers in the UK has exceeded 150,000 in the first six months of the year, figures that have not been seen at any time since the financial crisis in 2008.
The statistics showed the average price paid by first-time buyers rose by four per cent in the last year, up from £199,414 in 2016 to a current rate of £207,693. First-time buyers have an average deposit of £32,899, typically making up 16 per cent of the purchase price.
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