There were 335,750 first-time buyers in the UK last year, the most since 2007 and the third consecutive year in which numbers have grown, according to the Halifax’s First-Time Buyer Review.
Back in 2008 first-time buyer numbers fell to an all-time low, with just 192,300 people getting onto the property ladder, and since then, there has been a growth of 75 per cent.
However, there is still a long way to go to reach the 402,800 peak recorded immediately before the housing crisis hit.
Not only did the number of first-time buyers reach record levels last year, but so too did the average house price and deposit that they paid. Outside of London, the average first-time buyer deposit was £32,321, a staggering 113 per cent higher than the 2006 average of £15,168.
The average price paid by first-time buyers for their home was £205,170, outside of the capital. This record-high was 7 per cent higher than the £191,929 average paid during the previous year.
Meanwhile, the average house price paid in London by first-time buyers was £402,692. This all-time high was an 81 per cent increase on the average house price paid in 2009, while the average deposit rose to £100,445, which represented an astonishing 276 per cent increase over the last decade.
“First-time buyers play a crucial role in the housing market, and each transaction has an impact further up the chain, as well as helping to drive levels of house building,” said Martin Ellis, housing economist at the Halifax.
“The number of buyers getting on the housing ladder exceeded 300,000 for the third year in succession, a welcome boost for current home owners, house builders and the government.
“Continuing low mortgage rates, high levels of employment have supported the market and government schemes such as Help to Buy have improved affordability, enabling more first-time buyers to buy their own property,” he continued.