Number of first time buyers falls by one third in last 20 years


The number of first-time buyers has fallen 34 per cent since 1994 according to data from the English Housing Survey, fuelled by a lack of affordable housing, the recession, and stricter criteria for mortgages.

A random selection of households across England were involved in the annual survey, including properties for the elderly and also the private rented sector. There were 13,174 households involved in the most recent survey.

In 2014-15, there were 564,000 first-time buyers, down from the 857,000 recorded in 1994-95. Not only has the number of people getting onto the property ladder each year decreased, but the age of first-time buyers has also increased.

The average age has increased to 33 over the last 20 years, up from 30. People aged between 25 and 34 accounted for 61 per cent of first-time buyers, while people aged between 16 and 24 accounted for just 10 per cent. The remaining 29 per cent were aged 35 and above.

59 per cent of first-time buyers jointly purchased their home with a spouse or partner, with 39 per cent purchasing their first home in their name only.

Additionally, data collated in the Which? 2015 national house moving survey showed that the majority of first-time buyers received financial help with their deposits. Family members helped finance 52 per cent of first-time buyers’ deposits.

For those who struggle to save up the money required for their deposit, there are a number of government schemes aimed at helping people get onto the property ladder. The Help-to-Buy ISA could see you receive £3,000 from the government for your first home, while there are also Help-to-Buy Equity Loan and Help-to-Buy Mortgage Guarantee schemes available.

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