Leeds Property: First Time Buyer Numbers Soar

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The number of first-time buyers hit a six and a half year high in March, as Help to Buy enabled more high loan-to-value lending, according to the latest First Time Buyer Tracker from Your Move and Reeds Rains, part of LSL Property Services.

The number of first-time buyers hit a six and a half year high in March, as Help to Buy enabled more high loan-to-value lending, according to the latest First Time Buyer Tracker from Your Move and Reeds Rains, part of LSL Property Services.

There were 31,400 first-time buyer sales in March 2014 – the highest monthly figure since August 2007, and 60 per cent higher than twelve months before, as first-time buyer activity returned to pre-recession territory.

Data from estate agency chains Your Move and Reeds Rains shows the average first-time buyer deposit fell 10% to £23,802 over the twelve months to March. It was the lowest first-time buyer deposit recorded in three years. The average deposit now represents just 66% of the average first-time buyer’s income, compared to 77 per cent a year before.

David Newnes, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, part of LSL Property Services group, said: “The number of first-time buyers has returned to a pre-recession high, just in time for the one year anniversary of Help to Buy. More first-time buyers are seizing the opportunity to have a helping hand from the Government in putting together a deposit. Help to Buy has allowed the bottom of the market to stay buoyant, despite property prices increasing.”

In Yorkshire and the Humber, the average house price for a first time buyer using the Help to Buy scheme was £107,948, the average deposit was £15,280, the average mortgage £92,667 and overall, there were 6,400 first time buyers (compared to 12,700 in London).

The average first-time buyer purchase price has increased 6 per cent in the past year, equivalent to a jump of £7,781 since March 2013 yet mortgage payments remain static.

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