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Number of first time buyers at seven year high


The number of people buying a home for the first time is at a seven year high, according to Halifax’s First Time Buyer Review.

Halifax has said that the number of first time buyers rose by 22% to 326,500 in 2014, despite house prices rising by an average of 9%. This marked the highest level of first time buyers since before the financial crisis. The reasons for the increase include cheap mortgage rates and government schemes to help first time buyers, such as Help to Buy. Also, the cost of a deposit for a first time buyer has fallen by an average of 7% to £29,218, helped by record-low interest rates and an improvement in competition for mortgages.

In the third quarter of 2014, first-time buyers were spending an average of 32% of their disposable incomes on paying their mortgage, compared to 50% of their incomes back in 2007. However, house prices still went up. The average first-time buyer paid £171,870 in 2014, a 9% rise on the previous year.

Craig McKinlay, of 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.’

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