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Number of first time buyers at highest levels since 2007

Mortgages are becoming more affordable for those buying their first home

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First-time buyer numbers have risen to their highest level since 2007, according to new figures from Halifax.

The number of people buying a home increased by 22% in 2014 and comes after a 50% rise in the number of first-time buyers in the past two years, after the post 2008 lows.

First time buyers now account for 46% of all home purchases made with a mortgage, up from 44% in 2013.

A good time to buy?

It’s thought the growing numbers are driven by better job prospects, the government’s Help to Buy scheme, rock-bottom mortgage rates and the recent reforms to stamp duty have saving the average first time buyer £781.

Craig McKinlay, Mortgages Director at Halifax, commented: “Improving economic conditions and rising employment levels have boosted confidence among those thinking about getting on to the housing ladder for the first time, contributing to the significant increase in the number of first-time buyers in the past two years.

“Record low mortgage rates and Help to Buy have improved affordability, enabling more first-time buyers to buy their own property.”

More affordable mortgages

Halifax point out that mortgage affordability has improved significantly in recent years. Notably mortgage rates are at their lowest ever levels leading to cheaper repayments.

Halifax state that repayments currently cost the average first-time buyer 30% of their disposable earnings, opposed to 50% in 2007.

Deposits are also on average 7% smaller than in 2013. This is thought to be due to the greater availability of higher loan-to-value mortgages, including 95% mortgages.

Thinking of buying a home?

If you’re thinking of getting onto the housing ladder you can:

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