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 first-time buyer sector is now more significant to the housing market than home movers or buy-to-le

Record numbers of first-time buyers enter the property market

By Maurice Shasha  //  Mon 21st January 2019
The lender claims that first-time buyers purchasing homes with a mortgage now represent half of the property market, the highest proportion in 23 years.
First-time buyers with mortgages have entered the property market in record numbers according to figures from Yorkshire Building Society.

Cheaper loans, the government’s Help to Buy scheme and stamp duty relief, have all led to 367,038 first-time buyers entered the market during 2018 compared to 362,800 the year before.

The lender claims that first-time buyers purchasing homes with a mortgage now represent half of the property market, the highest proportion in 23 years. It also says that first-time buyer activity, funded by home loans, is at its highest level since 2006.

Yorkshire Building Society bases its claims on analysis of official UK Finance figures along with its own internal data, which suggest that the number of first-time buyer mortgages approved annually has doubled over the past 10 years.

For the building society, the figures indicate that the first-time buyer sector is now more significant to the housing market than home movers or buy-to-let investors.

It believes the rise in first-time buyer activity has been fuelled by more 95% loan to value mortgages, heated competition for business among lenders, stamp duty relief and the impact of the government’s Help to Buy scheme.

Yorkshire Building Society’s Strategic Economist Nitesh Patel said: “Buying your first home remains tough for many but it’s encouraging to see first-time buyer levels at a 12-year high and climbing.

“Property prices have grown at a faster rate than wages over the past decade, which has created difficulties for first-time buyers.

“Various factors have helped to alleviate this challenging environment, although the market is still pretty tough for those wanting to become homeowners.

“Getting on to the housing ladder is still not an easy step for many young people, as demonstrated by the increasing numbers who have received help from the bank of mum and dad.”

Read more about this story in The Negotiator.

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