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Number of First-Time Buyers in the UK Has Doubled

The number of first-time buyers in the UK has more than doubled after it reached an all-time low of 72,700 in the first half of 2009, and is presently only 8% lower than it was in 2006, when the last boom peaked at 190,900.

Research from the Halifax has confirmed that the number of first-time buyers went up by 3% in the first half of this year to 175,500, compared with the total of 171,200 reported in the same period last year.

This is the six increase over a similar time frame in the last seven years and the third consecutive year that the number of first-time homebuyers has surpassed 150,000.

The growing number of first-time buyers means that they also account for a greater proportion of purchasers financed by mortgages: from 38% ten years ago to 51% in 2018. This percentage has increased since 2013, when Help to Buy appeared. This scheme has since helped 128,317 new buyers acquire homes of their own.

Property prices in the three months to August 2018 went up by 3.7% compared to the same time last year. Average house prices, £229,958, were largely unchanged since last month.

On a month-to-month basis, prices stayed even. In August there was a small increase of 0.1% while in the most recent quarter price were 1.9% high than in March-May 2018.

Halifax managing director Russell Galley said that the rate of employment growth has slowed down recently but a still-low rate of unemployment and a slow rise in wages are helping to sustain personal finances. This has been supported by interest rates that remain at an all-time low and a steady, albeit constrained, supply of new properties, which also sustains house prices.
Sales fell by 0.8% between June and July, reaching a total of 99,270. In the three months leading to July 2018, sales increased by 2.1% over the preceding three months.

HMRC data has indicated that the number of residential transactions has been flat over the past year, a fact that is not likely to change in the months ahead.

The housing market was stable overall in the last month, with new instruction volumes staying flat in July and first-time buyer enquiries also steady.

Resi.co.uk founder and CEO Alex Depledge said that with property prices remaining high, the housing market continues to deal with low supply. The situation is affected further by rising costs of construction, worries over a diminishing post-Brexit workforce, and uncertainty about how the arrangement will affect the housing market, especially in London.

Mr. Depledge said that innovation in the housing sector is badly needed, starting with the implementation of technology to make home improvements easier to control, understand, and afford. With moving no longer an option for many homeowners, they need to be aware of their options and feel supported.

Source: CRL