Number of first-time UK house buyers hits nine-year high

The average deposit that first-time homebuyers pay has doubled since 2007

Josie Co
Business Editor
Friday 13 January 2017 09:19
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The average price paid for a first home in the UK was £205,170 in 2016
The average price paid for a first home in the UK was £205,170 in 2016

The number of first-time home buyers in the UK surged to its highest level since the start of the financial crisis in 2016, despite the average cost of a first home surpassing the £200,000 mark for the first time ever.

A report published by Halifax bank on Friday shows that 7.3 per cent more buyers entered the market last year taking the figure to 335,750 – its highest level since 2007.

It also shows that the average deposit that first-time homebuyers pay has doubled since 2007 to hit more than £32,000.

First time buyers’ mortgages have also become longer. A decade ago, the proportion of first-time buyers’ mortgages that were 25 or longer was just 36 per cent. Since then, it’s rapidly increased to 60per cent in 2016, according to Halifax.

But although low-mortgages, help-to-buy schemes and robust employment levels have helped many onto the property ladder, rapidly increasing prices, especially in London, continue to present a barrier.

The Halifax report shows that the average price paid for a first home in the UK was £205,170 in 2016 but nearly double that in London, at £403,69 – a historical high – with the average deposit in the capital clocking in at £100,445. Northern Ireland was the cheapest region, according to the report, at £115,269 with an average deposit of just £16,695.

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