Sharp rise in first-time buyer numbers

Sharp rise in first-time buyer numbers

The annual Halifax First Time Buyer Review has indicated that the number of first-time buyers continued to increase in 2013 - rising by an impressive 22%.

This marks the largest annual rise since 2001 and a second consecutive annual increase following a 13% rise in 2012.

In 2013 there were an estimated 265,000 FTBs - up from 218,000 in 2012.

However, before we all get carried away by the idea of the highest annual total since 2007, it was still nearly 30% lower than the annual average between 2003 and 2007 (370,800).

Nonetheless, greater mortgage availability and affordibility appear to be having a positive effect.

Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis said: “The number of first-time buyers is estimated to have grown by a fifth in 2013, the largest annual increase in more than a decade. Low interest rates, improvements in consumer confidence and Government schemes, such as Help to Buy, all appear to have contributed to the rise in the number of first time buyers.

"However, many potential first-time buyers continue to find raising the necessary deposit a problem. The Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme should enable more buyers to get on to the property ladder with smaller deposits. Continuing pressure on household finances during the next 12 months will no doubt remain a constraint."