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First time buyer numbers remained high across 2015

by TLA Direct | Jan 12, 2016

The number of first time buyers in the UK remained buoyant in 2015 at just over 300,000 for a second year in a row, according to new data.

First time buyers accounted for almost half of all house purchases made with a mortgage in 2015 and more than a quarter are now opting for a 35 year mortgage, according to the annual first time buyer review report from the Halifax.

Overall it shows that number reached 310,000 and the lender says that although this represents a marginal decline of 0.5% from 311,700 in 2014, the number has grown by 60% since 2011, from 193,700 to 310,000.

As reported by Property Wire, the review shows that the marginal decline in first time buyers is in line with general residential house purchases, and is partly due to lack of supply.

The data also shows that the average price paid by first time buyers increased by 10% in 2015 from £172,563 to £190,180, taking the price above the previous peak in 2007 of £174,994 for the first time.

The average deposit paid by a first time buyer at £32,927 was 13% higher than a year ago and 88% higher than the average deposit in 2007 which was £17,499.

The report says that the higher house prices paid by first time buyers during the year has resulted in an increase in the average deposit paid.

Whilst a mortgage term of 25 years has been the norm for some time, many first time buyers are increasingly taking out mortgages where payments are spread over a longer period.

In 2007 the proportion of first time buyers taking up a 35 year mortgage was 16% but in 2015 that grew to 26%.

Over the same period, the share of mortgages with a 20 to 25 year term dropped from 48% to 30%.

Halifax mortgages director Craig McKinlay said: “Although the average price of the typical first time buyer home has grown by 10% in the past year, the number of buyers taking that first step onto the housing ladder has been supported by favourable economic conditions; namely, record low mortgage rates, rising employment and real pay growth.”

The research suggests that first time buyers are an increasingly important part of the housing market and accounted for 46% of all house purchases made with a mortgage in 2015, the same as in 2014.

However, this share has grown from 36% at the start of the housing downturn in 2007.

Based on the average price paid by first time buyers, most regions have benefited from the Stamp Duty changes from December 2014.

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