2016 saw a greater number of first-time buyers in the UK

2016 saw a greater number of first-time buyers in the UK [Photo: Alija via iStock]

The past year saw more first timers come into the property market, with the market seeing growth in first-time buyer numbers having continued for the third year in a row, according to new reports. 

However, the data, released by Halifax in its First Time Buyer Review shows that the changing market means that there has been a rise in the price that first timers have had to pay to get onto the ladder in the past year, which has meant that as a result, the average age of newcomers to the property sector has risen. 

In total, in 2016, there were as many as 335,750 getting themselves a footing on the property ladder. This was up 7.3 per cent year on year, and meant that there have been three consecutive years of growth in the newcomers sector, which shows just how strongly the market has been performing in the last few years.

There is still room for growth in the sector as well, however, with the market still remaining some way below its pre-financial crisis peak of some 402,000. 

Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said it's vital that first timers are able to get themselves onto the property ladder as they help the market to push on all the way up the chain, as well as helping to improve levels of house building. 

"The number of buyers getting on the housing ladder exceeded 300,000 for the third year in succession, a welcome boost for current home owners, house builders and the government. Continuing low mortgage rates, high levels of employment have supported the market and government schemes such as Help to Buy have improved affordability, enabling more first-time buyers to buy their own property," he added. 

However, while there has been a boost in the number of buyers getting onto the ladder, there has also been a rise in costs, with the average cost of a deposit having doubled to £32,321 in the last ten years, meaning there are now more older first timers getting onto the ladder, as it takes longer to save.