First Time Buyers At Highest Level For Over A Decade

Date Published 11 March 2019

The number of first-time buyer mortgages has reached its highest level for 13 years, with some 370,000 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in 2018. Official trade body UK Finance has released data which shows that the highest number of first-time buyer mortgages since 2006 was reached last year, underlining the fiscal viability of purchasing a home for first time buyers.

This consistent increase in the number of first-time buyers entering the property market can be seen as a result of; government schemes, greater mortgage availability and fewer rental properties on the market. Government policy has consistently targeted buyers who are keen to enter the property market primarily through their Help-to-Buy scheme and financial aid to first-time buyers, whilst competition amongst mortgage providers has brought a greater variety of finance options to the market. Amongst these mortgage varieties, we have seen more providers offering the 100% mortgage (or Loan-to-Value) and variations thereof, thereby opening up property to more people than ever before.

Richard Campo, managing director of Rose Capital Partners, said: `Lenders have been making it easy for first-time buyers over the last couple of months, with several providers announcing reduced rates on high loan-to-value mortgages.

`There are currently over 17,000 products available for first-time buyers.`

Twinned with the influx of mortgage varieties, and mortgages demanding a lower deposit value, is the reduced cost of these lower-deposit mortgages. The average two-year fixed rate LTV mortgage has fallen by over half a percent since last August, and big brands are also reflecting the consumer desire for LTV mortgages with Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, NatWest and Santander all cutting their rates.

Yopa chief property analyst Mike Scott agrees: `Since FTBs drive the whole housing market, allowing home movers to find a buyer and take the next step on the ladder, this is good news for the whole market,` he says.

In fact, the Halifax bank has recently found that first-time buyers are now so active in the marketplace that they make up the majority of home purchases bought with a mortgage in the United Kingdom. Based around the same UK Finance statistics, Halifax has found that the average price of a typical first home has jumped by 39%, from £153,030 in 2008 to £212,473 in 2018 with terraced houses and semi-detached remaining the most popular choices for first-time buyers.