25,000 more first-time purchases in 2017 than 2016
First-time buyer numbers rose by 7.4% in 2017 compared to 2016, according to recent figures from UK Finance, the trade association for banks and finance firms.
According to the association, approximately 365,000 first-time buyer purchases were made throughout the last year, exceeding 2016’s total by more than 25,000 and reaching the highest level for a decade.
The report also revealed that the average age of a first-time buyer in the UK now stands at 30, whilst the average income of those taking their first step onto the property ladder was now
Last November, the Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, utilised the Autumn Budget to introduce the abolition of stamp duty land tax on the first of any property purchased by a first-time buyer, with the surprise move helping to boost activity in the final month of 2017.
Furthermore, interest rates remain historically low despite rising in November to 0.5%, although the Bank of England has indicated that rates may increase earlier than they originally intended.
Paul Smee, head of mortgages at UK Finance, believes that low mortgage activity will moderate the market in 2018: “2017 saw the number of first-time buyers reach its highest level in a decade, which is welcome news for those getting started on the housing ladder.
“But although the market remains competitive there is no room for complacency, with weaker December figures consistent with our market forecast of subdued growth this year.”