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First-time buyer numbers up 50 per cent in two years

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New research from Halifax shows that the first-time buyer market is buoyant, with numbers up 50 per cent in two years.

The number of first-time buyers has risen 50 per cent in the last two years, with record low mortgage rates and new government schemes driving these figures.

Halifax figures suggest last year the number of first-time buyers grew by an estimated 22 per cent, building on the 23 per cent rise in 2013 making it the third successive annual increase.

Affordability has improved dramatically with mortgage payments standing at 32 per cent of disposable earnings in Q3 2014 against 50 per cent in 2007.

Average deposit sizes also fell last year to £29,218 from £31,582 the previous year. Halifax said this is largely due to better priced loans at a higher Loan to Value.

An estimated 326,500 FTBs bought their first homes in 2014, up from 268,500 in 2013. This is the highest annual total since 2007 with 359,900 and was 70 per cent higher than in 2008 at 192,300.
FTBs increased their market share of all house purchases made with a mortgage to 46 per cent in 2014, up from 44 per cent in 2013.

Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax, said: “First-time buyers are vital for a properly functioning housing market. Improving economic conditions and rising employment levels have boosted confidence among those thinking about getting on to the housing ladder for the first time, contributing to the significant increase in the number of first-time buyers in the past two years. Record low mortgage rates and Government schemes such as Help to Buy have improved affordability, enabling more first-time buyers to buy their own property.”

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