First-time buyers on the rise
Figures from Halifax, the country’s largest mortgage lender, show that the number of people getting a foot on the property ladder increased to 326,500 last year – up 22 per cent.
While the average price of a starter home has jumped by nine per cent – the typical property will now set you back £171,870 - the cost of a deposit for first-time buyers has fallen.
This has allowed the amount of first time buyers to reach levels not seen since before the financial crash.
Halifax’s mortgages director, Craig McKinlay, 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.”
Apart from the advantage of falling deposits, first-time buyers have benefited from changes to stamp duty, which are estimated to have reduced the average tax bill by £781. Low interest rates and the much-touted Help to Buy scheme have also played their part.
In addition the property market cooled in the second half of 2014, helping to calm fears that prices could once again spiral rapidly out of control.
According to the new data, the average age of a first -time buyer is now 30, while those living in London have to wait slightly longer before they can afford their own home.
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