First time buyer numbers rising again

The average UK first-time buyer is 29 and earns £32,274

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The number of first time buyers has increased for the first time since April this year, according to figures from the National Association of Esate Agents.

The survey of more than 350 members businesses by the NAEA indicates that 28 per cent of sales were to first time buyers in August, the first time this has gone up since April.

Almost half of all homes sold were to people aged between 31 and 40 with just three per cent to those aged 18 to 30. This percentage has been falling gradually since August 2013 when it was 12 per cent.

The report also found that 90 per cent of buyers bought as couples, with seven per cent buying alone.

"Reports from our members suggest that the high house prices of the current housing market are still proving a barrier for the younger generation," said Mark Hayward, Managing Director of the National Association of Estate Agents. "First time buyers are getting older. It is concerning at the lack of young people unable to buy their first home before the age of thirty, having to rent or stay at home for longer in order to save."

A separate report from Your Move and Reeds Rains also indicates rising numbers of first-time buyer completions, up seven per cent compared to August 2013 with the the average purchase price for a first-time buyer property £151,942.

However, their report also reveals concerns among first-time buyers. Interest rate rises pushing up mortgage repayments was named as the number one concern putting off homehunters

"Initial signs of dissent among the Monetary Policy Committee hint that a base rate rise may happen in the New Year," said David Newnes, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains.

"The MMR regulations have been designed to make sure borrowers are primed and ready for this transition, as they should be well advised of the effect the base rate rise will have on their finances. But the eventual base rate rise is still a concern to borrowers, many of whom don’t think they’ll be able to afford to get onto the ladder if interest rates are higher."

The average London first-time buyer in August was 32 and earning £41,302, compared to the rest of the UK where they were 29 and earning £32,274.

London first-time buyers also put down the largest deposits at £71,309, more than double the figure in the South East (£32,983) and four times larger than Northern Ireland (£15,835) where the average first-time buyer purchase price went above £100,000 for the first time since 2011.