First-time buyers hit record levels

First-time buyer figures have reached record levels for the second year running, a new study has revealed.

The Yorkshire Building Society, who published the research, found that 353,436 buyers purchased their first property in 2019, representing around 51 per cent of the mortgage market.

This is compared to 2018, when a similar 353,130 first-time buyers climbed the first rung of the housing ladder – the previous highest level on record since 2007.

It means that almost twice as many first-time buyers secured a mortgage in 2019 as at the start of the financial crisis in 2008, when just 191,040 new buyers applied for a mortgage.

Commenting on the report, Strategic Economist Nitesh Patel said the overall trend is that figures are gradually approaching pre-financial crisis levels.

“Even though the number of first-buyers has stayed pretty much the same as last year, it is still encouraging to see first-time buyers top 350,000 for the second year in a row,” he said.

“They also represent over half of all homes bought with a mortgage, meaning the first-time buyer mortgage market share is at its highest since 1995, when they bought 53 per cent of all mortgage-financed homes.”

The study also found that the average property price in London now stands at £415,618 – the most expensive anywhere in the UK.

It is followed by the South East, the highest region outside of the capital, where property prices average out at £264,097.

Despite sky-high prices in both regions, they are still popular choices among first-time buyers, who account for 12 per cent and 20 per cent of sales in each region respectively.

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