First time buyer numbers up by 22% in 2014

8 Jan, 2015

The latest figures from the Halifax show that in 2014 the number of first time buyers rose to its highest level in seven years.

The bank estimated that 326,500 people bought their first property last year the most since 2007 and up by 22% compared with 2013 when just 268,500 homes were purchased.

Although the number of new buyers was up for the third year in a row, the average deposit for first-time buyers fell in 2014, to an average of £29,218, down from £31,582 in the previous 12 months.

Halifax said that the double whammy of rock bottom interest rates and the introduction of government Help to Buy initiatives had helped first-time buyers get on the property ladder.

Despite these positives, the price first-time buyers are paying is up 9% compared with last year, with the average cost of a first-time buyer property just shy of £172,000.

The average age of those purchasing their first home has also risen, from 29 in 2011 to 30 in 2014; though the average age of those buying in London is highest at 32.

A spokesman for Halifax, 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.

“Record low mortgage rates and Government schemes such as Help to Buy have improved affordability, enabling more first-time buyers to buy their own property.”