Those purchasing their first property made up 28 per cent of homebuyers in 2023.
According to Skipton Building Society and Hamptons Estate Agents, this marks a significant rise from 16 per cent in 2015.
It said it highlights ‘resilience amid challenging economic climates’.
Ready to compromise
The lender also found that seven in 10 of those planning a property purchase expressed a willingness to compromise in order to own their own home, placing factors like garden size, location, and bedroom count at the forefront of these decisions.
Of those willing to compromise, 42 per cent are content with a smaller garden, while 37 per cent are open to live further away from their first choice area.
Many are happy to downsize from their original dream, as 67 per cent anticipate their first home will be smaller than they’d have hoped.
Although first-time buyers are willing to compromise on the features of their first home, almost half (47 per cent) are considering overbidding to ensure they have a better chance of securing the home that is right for them.
The survey of aspiring homeowners, conducted by OnePoll, indicates that 34 per cent of first-time buyers expect to own a semi-detached property, followed by flats (25 per cent) and terraced houses (21 per cent).
In London, flat ownership is more anticipated (38 per cent) than in other regions (26 per cent).
Charlotte Harrison, CEO of home financing at Skipton Building Society, said: “We’ve seen many first-time buyers become more realistic than optimistic with what they can afford and adjust their property expectations.
“Aspiring homeowners in 2024 are encouraged to explore a range of options available to them, as the first step onto the property ladder may be closer than they think.”
Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, added: “First-time buyers who have been able to successfully navigate 2023’s higher interest rates have increasingly found themselves at the front of the home-hunting queue.
“With nothing to sell in what’s been a tough market, those buying their first home are being favoured over offers from anyone with somewhere to sell, often even when their offer is a little lower.”