First-time home buyers hit 10-year high – BBC News

First-time home buyers hit 10-year high – BBC News

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There were more first-time home buyers in 2016 than at any time since the start of the financial crisis, according to research by Halifax bank.

It also found the average price of a first home in the UK broke through the 200,000 barrier for the first time.

Meanwhile, the average first-time deposit more than doubled compared with 2007 to stand at more than 32,000.

And 60% of first first-time buyers’ mortgages were for 25 years or longer, up from 36% a decade ago.

The Halifax First-Time Buyer Review said the number of buyers entering the market hit 335,750 last year, up 7.3% on 2015.

That is the highest level since the start of the financial crisis in 2007, and 75% higher than the all-time low of 192,300 first-time purchases seen in 2008.

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However, it still has some way to go to match the peak of 402,800 in 2006.

Longer mortgage terms

The average first-time deposit across the UK as a whole a decade ago was 15,168. It had increased 113% by last year to 32,321.

Rising property prices mean first-time buyers are increasingly taking out longer mortgages.

Last year 60% of first-time buyers took out a mortgage of 25 years or longer. More than a quarter (28%) took out a 30 to 35-year term mortgage.

Ten years ago only 36% of people getting on to the first rung of the property ladder borrowed for longer than 25 years. Nearly two thirds (64%) of first-time buyers took out a mortgage for between five and 25 years.

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However, there are massive regional variations.

While the average price paid by a first-time buyer across the UK as a whole in 2016 was a record 205,170, in London it was nearly double that at 402,692, which was another all-time high.

In the least expensive region, Northern Ireland, the average cost of a first property was 115,269.

The average deposit paid in Northern Ireland has fallen by a fifth in a decade to 16,695, the lowest in the UK.

Meanwhile the average deposit in London has shot up over that time by 276% to 100,445.

Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis attributed the increase in first-time buyer numbers to continuing low mortgage rates and high levels of employment which had “supported the market”.

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“Government schemes such as Help to Buy have improved affordability, enabling more first-time buyers to buy their own property,” he added.

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