Number of first-time buyers reaches 10-year high in the UK, says Halifax

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The number of first-time buyers is estimated to have reached 335,7501 in 2016, according to the latest Halifax First-Time Buyer Review.

First-time buyers numbers have totalled over 300,000 for the third successive year, growing from 312,900 in 2015 to an estimated 335,750 in 2016 (up 7.3%) – the highest level since the start of the financial crisis in 2007 (359,900).

Having reached an all-time low of 192,3002 in 2008, the number of homebuyers getting on to the first rung of the property ladder has grown by 75% to its current level. However, first-time buyer numbers still remain 17% below the immediate pre-crisis peak of 402,800 in 2006.

Martin Ellis, Housing Economist at Halifax, said: “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 housebuilding.

“The number of buyers getting on the housing ladder exceeded 300,000 for the third year in succession – a welcome boost for current homeowners, house builders and the government. Continuing low mortgage rates, high levels of employment have supported the market and Government schemes such as Help to Buy4 have improved affordability, enabling more first-time buyers to buy their own property.

“Across the regions there is a contrasting picture. In London – which has one of the youngest populations in the UK – the average house price for a typical first-time buyer is now more than an eyewatering £400,000 with an average deposit of over £100,000 – more than twice that in the South East, the next most expensive region.”

– Average deposit doubles to £32,321 with a four-fold increase to £100,000 in London

– Average first-time buyer house price breaks new ground – passing £200,000 (UK) and £400,000 (London)

– 60% of first-time buyers choosing mortgage terms of 25+ years to improve affordability

Source: Halifax 

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