Encouraging figures released by Halifax (and reported without paywall by Mortgagestrategy.co.uk) show a continued recovery in the number of first time buyers.
49% of buyers using a mortgage are now first time buyers, compared to 36% in 2006.
This has to be a shot in the arm for Help to Buy and other demand-side subsidy and support schemes.
The report notes though that more and more FTBs are paying SDLT and that the deposit necessary has doubled between 2006 and 2016. in London, the deposit needed is now over £100,000. Elsewhere, it is over £30,000.
There is now a concerted push from the property industry for reform to SDLT. It will be interesting to see if these figures help or hinder the lobbyists.
The lender’s latest First-Time Buyer Review says there were 335,750 first-time buyers last year, up 7.3 per cent from 312,900 in 2015. Halifax says the 2016 figure is the highest since the start of the financial crisis in 2007, when the figure was 359,900. However, the UK population rose by 2.78 million between 2007 and 2017 to 64.1 million. First-time buyer numbers still remain 17 per cent below the immediate pre-crisis peak of 402,800 in 2006. In 2006, 36 per cent of all house purchases financed by a mortgage were made by first-time buyers. In 2016, this proportion is estimated to have reached 49 per cent, the highest level since 1996.