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£33K – that’s the average deposit now put down by first-time buyers

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Deposits have doubled in the last 10 years but the number of first-time buyers has also risen to its highest level
£33K – that’s the average deposit now put down by first-time buyers

The average first-time buyer deposit has almost doubled in the last decade from £17,740 to £33,339, according to research from Halifax.

The lender said that, despite this huge increase in the typical amount required upfront to buy your first property, numbers of first-time buyers are at their highest level in the last 10 years. They grew by 6% in the last year alone.

There were 359,000 first-time buyers in 2017, up for the sixth consecutive year. This is an increase of 87% compared to an all-time low of 192,3002 in 2008 and is now just 11% below the most recent peak of 402,800 in 2006. First-time buyers now account for half of all house purchases made with a mortgage, an increase from 36% a decade ago.

The average price of a first-time buyer property has also increased hugely in 10 years, from £174,703 to £212,079 in 2017.

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said: “Low mortgage rates, high levels of employment and Government schemes such as Help to Buy4 have helped first-time buyers become a much greater segment of the market, and the recent abolition of Stamp Duty on purchases of up to £300,000 is likely to continue stimulating this growth by reducing the upfront costs associated with taking the first step on to the property ladder.”

Regional split

In the past decade, the number of first-time buyers in London has fallen by 26% from 57,900 in 2007 to an estimated 42,983 in 2017, marking the third consecutive annual decline. The North is the only other region aside from the capital to see a drop in numbers from 17,300 to 16,430 (5%) during the same period.

On the other hand, the number of people getting on the housing ladder in Northern Ireland has grown by 65% to 9,410. The second largest rise was in the South West (16%, from 25,400 to 29,399). The South East has the largest number of first-time buyers in the UK, totalling over 69,000 last year, edging up from 67,600 in 2007.

The average price of a typical first-time buyer home in the South East has increased by £78,855 (or 39%) since 2007 – from £199,894 to £278,749 in 2017. In London, the average price paid by a new entrant to the property market in the capital has grown by £134,902 to £422,580 – double the national average.

House price growth in northern areas has been considerably more modest. In the last 10 years, the average price of a typical first-time buyer home in the North has grown by £9,462 to £126,437, while in Northern Ireland it has fallen £59,240 (33%) to £120,648 – the lowest in the UK.

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