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Double-digit drop in first-time buyer sales in 2020

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25/01/2021
First-time buyer deposits rose by 23% in 2020 to an average of £57,278
Double-digit drop in first-time buyer sales in 2020

The number of first-time buyers fell by 13% in 2020 compared to 2019, despite activity bouncing back after the first lockdown.

According to Halifax, the overall number of first-time buyers in 2020 was 304,657, down by over 46,000 compared to 351,260 in 2019.

It said that first-time buyers continued to account for around half of all home purchases.

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said: “Whilst these figures confirm the almost inevitable fall in the overall number of first-time buyers in 2020 – with the entire housing market effectively shuttered during the first national lockdown – they also underline just how strong the bounce back was in the second half of the year.

“Despite the obvious challenges presented by soaring house prices, not least the need to raise an even bigger deposit, first-time buyers still accounted for half of all home purchases, a reassuring statistic given their overall importance to the market.”

Average first-time buyer property prices

The average price paid by a first-time buyer in the UK last year was £256,057, up by £22,939 (10%) from a year earlier (£233,118).

The average amount put down by a first-time buyer in 2020 was £57,278, compared to £46,449 the year before, a rise of over 23% (£10,829).

London saw the biggest increase in the average first-time buyer price paid by first-time buyers over the last 12 months, up by £33,486 (7%) from £455,611 to £489,098.

The greatest percentage growth came in the West Midlands, up by 11% (£19,565) from £185,682 to £205,246.

The smallest increase came in Scotland, up by just over 1% (£2,133) from £153,278 to £155,411.

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