House sales up by a third

Average first-time buyer deposit has fallen 10 per cent in a year

Latest figures suggest that UK house prices  rose 11 per cent over the last 12 months and one per cent between February and March, making the average house now £212,372.

The report from Sequence indicates that sales transactions were also up a third month-on-month and a quarter annually

"As we enter spring, the UK property market is hotting up, with double figure annual growth across every indicator," said David Plumtree, Chief Executive at Sequence, owners of  Barnard Marcus, William H Brown and Fox & Sons. "However, demand for property continues to outpace new instructions and this imbalance will underpin price rises going forward.

In a separate report, LSL's analysis indicates first time buyer numbers rose 60 per cent year-on-year in March to reach 31,400, the highest monthly figure since August 2007.

It also shows that the average first-time buyer deposit has fallend 10 per cent in a year to a three year low of £23,802. 

David Newnes, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, part of LSL Property Services group, said: "The number of first-time buyers has returned to a pre-recession high, just in time for the one year anniversary of Help to Buy. More first-time buyers are seizing the opportunity to have a helping hand from the Government in putting together a deposit. Help to Buy has allowed the bottom of the market to stay buoyant, despite property prices increasing."

The average first-time buyer purchase price has increased six per cent in the past year, equivalent to a rise of £7,781 since March 2013, yet mortgage repayments have remained static as a proportion of income over the last twelve months, helped by falling mortgage rates.

In London the average deposit for a first-time buyer was £67,955, more than double the average across the UK (£30,046). The cheapest region for first-time buyers was Northern Ireland where the average first-time buyer purchase price was £90,816 in the first three months of 2014, well below the average across the UK (£155,502).

The cheapest region in terms of deposit size was Yorkshire & Humber. The average first-time buyer deposit there was £15,280 

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