Getting on the property ladder: first-time buyers at highest number since eve of the credit crunch

The number of first-time buyers taking out mortgages hit a 12-year high last month, official figures reveal today.

A total of 35,010 first-time purchasers completed on home loans in August, up 0.7 per cent on the same month in 2018 and the highest total since August 2007 on the eve of the credit crunch.

First-time buyers have been encouraged to jump on the ladder by rising real wages, record low interest rates, stamp duty breaks and the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, which can provide up to 40 per cent of the cost of a new home in the form of equity loans.

In the first nine months of the year, 44 per cent of all homes in London were bought by first-time buyers, according to data released last week by agents Hamptons.

That was the highest proportion since the firm began keeping records in 2007.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “Far from a housing market on its knees, new first-time buyer mortgages for August were at their highest level since the same month in 2007 showing real resilience. 

“It also demonstrates the lengths lenders are going to in attracting first-time buyers with competitive mortgages at high loan-to-values and innovation on family lending products where families can help offspring onto the housing ladder.”

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