FTB numbers in the UK rise for third consecutive year

FTB numbers in the UK rise for third consecutive year

The number of people in the UK who were able to buy a house for the first time climbed by a fifth in 2014, the third year in a row that this has increased, a new report has confirmed. 

According to the latest Halifax First Time Buyer review, the rate of increase was marginally lower in 2014 than it had been in 2013, 22 per cent compared to 23 per cent. However, such close figures are indicative of a strong level of consistency in the market at this time. 

Overall, there were also more new buyers in 2014 than there had been in 2013, a result of the continued recovery in the economy in the UK and the way in which people were increasingly confident about buying their own properties. 

Another reason for a growing in the number of newcomers to the market has been the fact that they need to come to the table with less of an initial deposit. In 2013, the average buyer had to pay a deposit of more than £31,000, but this fell to around £29,000 in 2014, a drop of seven per cent. This made it more affordable for people to get themselves a foot on the ladder. 

There were an estimated 326,500 first time buyers in 2014, up from 268,500 in 2013. This is the highest number of first timers in the market at any time since 2007, when the market was at its peak, and also 70 per cent higher than in 2008 when the financial crisis struck the property sector down. 

First timers are also now making up a higher proportion of all homes bought with a mortgage, Halifax said. In 2013, 44 per cent of all mortgages were for first-time buyers, but this figure reached 46.1 per cent in 2014. 

"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," said Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at the Halifax.