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First-time buyer sales reach new high

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More properties were bought by first-time buyers in July than at any time since the financial crisis, market data has shown.

Estate agency chains Your Move and Reeds Rains said a total of 29,700 first-time buyer transactions were completed in July.

This figure was 28% higher than April’s figure and represented the strongest single month since the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008.

The agents said falling mortgage rates have allowed more buyers to come to market. The average rate for first-time buyers is now 3.44%, compared to 4.19% a year ago.

The average deposit size and property price have both grown in the last 12 months. The typical deposit grew 10% year-on-year to reach £27,975 while purchase prices were £161,985, a 8.9% hike.

Unsurprisingly London was the most expensive place to buy, with the average property bought for £274,868. The North East and Northern Ireland were the cheapest areas, with prices at £109,240 and £106,176 respectively.

Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, said optimism had returned to the market and the figures reflected the current state of play.

“First-time buyers are experiencing a summer of white-hot activity, unimpeded by rising deposit costs,” he said.

“The post-general election bounce has given way to a more stable optimism, as first-time buyers realise that the property market – at least their end of it – is at no immediate risk of being tampered with by the government.

“Rather, incentives attractive to first-time buyers – such as the Help to Buy scheme – are running along steadily, while further low-cost housing development is being encouraged to entice more people onto the ladder.

“The thought of months of rock-bottom mortgage rates being brought to an end is encouraging many wavering first-time buyers to jump on the property ladder before repayment costs shoot up. Some may have held back briefly when considering the rising deposit costs.”

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