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Rise in First-Time Buyer Numbers

There was a sharp rise in the number of first-time buyers entering the market in 2017, despite having to put down a deposit that is more than double what was required ten years ago.

The latest Halifax First-Time Buyer Review found that the number of first-time buyers rose by 6% in the last 12 months, continuing an upward trend of six years, while the average deposit has risen by 91%, from £17,740 in 2007 to £33,339 a decade later.

Halifax data also revealed that although the average price of a typical first home has grown by 21% (or £37,377) from £174,703 to £212,079, first-time buyer levels have almost returned to those last seen in 2007, when 359,900 took their first step on to the property ladder.

This is an increase of 87% compared to an all-time low of 192,300 in 2008 and is now just 11% below the most recent peak of 402,800 in 2006. First-time buyers now account for half of all house purchases with a mortgage, an increase from 36% a decade ago.

“A flow of new buyers into home ownership is vital for the overall wellbeing of the UK housing market,” commented Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax. “This ten-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.”

“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,” he added.

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