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First-time buyer numbers reach six year high

by: Joanna Faith
  • 29/07/2013
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First-time buyer numbers reach six year high
First-time buyer numbers reached their highest levels in the first half of this year since 2007, figures reveal.

Halifax estimates there were 120,000 first-time buyers during January-June 2013, up from 101,000 in the first six months of 2012.

This is the highest total since the first six months of 2007 where there were 181,500 recorded first-time buyers.

Improvements in mortgage affordability and government schemes such as New Buy and Help to Buy have contributed to the increase in first-time buyers, Halifax said.

However, more first-time buyers are paying Stamp Duty. Over half (51%) of all first-time buyer purchases in the first half of 2013 were above the £125,000 stamp duty threshold. This is up from 44% a year earlier.

In London, 97% of first-time buyers bought homes above £125,000, while one in three in the capital paid more than £250,000, resulting in them being liable to duties of more than 1%.

The average age of a first-time buyer is now 30, up from 29 in 2011.

Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax, said:”The significant increase in first-time buyers is encouraging, although the number of those buying their first home still remains low by recent historical standards.”

 

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