First-time buyers make up nearly half of all house purchases financed by a mortgage – but those taking their first step on the property ladder need to put down a £33,000 deposit on average, a report has found.
During the first half of 2017, 47 per cent of all house purchases with a mortgage across the UK were made by first-time buyers.
But the average price paid for a first home is at a record high of £207,693, according to the Halifax First-Time Buyer Review.
It found the average first-time buyer deposit put down in the first six months of 2017 was £32,899, the equivalent of 16 per cent of the purchase price.
In Yorkshire and the Humber, first-time buyers were putting down an average deposit £19,848 – 14 per cent of the regional average price paid of £137,908.
By contrast, those in the capital had to find a deposit of around five times as much before being able to buy. First-time buyers in London typically needed £106,577 or 26 per cent of the £409,795 average price.
At the bottom of the scale was Northern Ireland, where an average deposit of £16,457 or 14 per cent was needed for homes selling at £117,716.
Martin Ellis, a housing economist at Halifax, said that for the third time in four years the numbers getting on the housing ladder in the first half of the year have exceeded 150,000.
He said this was “a level of momentum not seen since before the financial crisis”.
“High levels of employment, low mortgage rates and government schemes such as Help to Buy have also helped these numbers remain robust, as first-time buyers continue to form a
fundamental part of the UK housing market,” he added
Across the UK, the number of first-time buyers reached an estimated 162,704 in the first six months of 2017, which is only 15 per cent below a peak seen in the last boom in 2006.
Schemes such as Help to Buy, which boosts first-time buyers’ savings or provides equity loans, are said to have given aspiring homeowners a helping hand.
The proportion of first-time buyers has grown from 44 per cent since the launch of Help to Buy in 2013, Halifax said.
There are also signs of first-time buyers stretching their loans out for longer, beyond the traditional 25-year term, to cover higher house prices.
Halifax used figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Office for National Statistics for the research.
A record 174 new rural affordable homes were built in north and east Yorkshire in the last 12 months, bringing the total to 750 in six years.
It means the North and East Yorkshire Rural Housing Enabler Network and its partners exceeded their annual target of 100 homes.
Of the 174 homes built, 31 were in National Parks, 155 for rent and the remaining 19 for low-cost home ownership.
Coun Richard Foster, chairman of the network, said: “I am very pleased to see such a large number of new rural affordable homes delivered this year. In future years, we hope to see additional new homes delivered by communities themselves.”
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