New peak for first-time buyers

Property News

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The number of first-time buyers in March leapt to 32,500 – the highest figure since June 2014.

This news comes as average purchase prices paid by first-time buyers dipped on a monthly basis, as buyers find cheaper homes.

According to the latest first-time buyer tracker from Your Move and Reeds Rains, this represents the highest monthly peak since June 2014 when first-time buyer volumes reached 33,300.

A new high in the monthly number of first-time buyers represents an increase of almost half (47 percent) on February’s first-time buyer total of 22,000.

This means that between February and March, the total flow of those managing to get their foot on the property ladder grew by 10,500.

On an annual basis, the total number of first-time buyers in March this year grew by 34.9 pe rcent, compared to March 2015’s figure.

Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: “A flurry of first-timers illustrates a property market progressing at a powerful pace as we head further into 2016. Much was made of March being the month of the buy-to-let landlord and the second-home owner. To an extent that was true – but it’s now clear none of that interest was at the expense of the bottom rungs of the ladder.

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“Would-be first-time buyers are clamouring to own their own home and we are seeing a sustained surge in demand for suitable homes this spring. A continuation of the broadly positive economic climate has likely been a factor spurring would-be first-time buyers to get off the fence and on to the ladder. However, what’s really getting those numbers up is the range of support options available to first-time buyers is at last beginning to be recognised and utilised.”

In London, the average of a first-time buyer property hit £321,247 in the three months to March 2016. The South East of England including St Albans and Harpenden is the second-most expensive region with the average first-time buyer home costing £214,574 during the same period.

First-time buyers in the South East tend to put down the second largest deposits, securing their homes with £39,663 in the three months to March 2016. Nationally the average deposit for first-timers is £25,270.

Adrian Gill added: “As London begins to inhabit a price bracket of its own, other trends are emerging in the UK housing market. Many families and young professionals unready for the costs of the capital and its satellite towns are looking to put down roots beyond the South East.”