The figures, published by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) covering its 14,600 members, are in contrast to findings released by Your Move and Reeds Rains last month, which saw first-time buyer numbers plummet in October.
According to the association’s findings, those making their first step onto the property ladder in August accounted for just a fifth of sales, indicating a rise of 11% up to October.
On average, each estate agent branch made nine sales in October, a monthly increase of 16%, with three of those sales being to first-time buyers.
The supply of homes available also increased in October, with the number of properties available to buy per branch rising by 16% from 37 in September to 43 in October. Despite this, demand for property dropped slightly from an average 342 house-hunters per branch in September, to 336 in October.
Mark Hayward, managing director of the NAEA, said: “It’s really promising that, for the second month running, the number of sales being made to first-time buyers has risen. Competitive mortgage products and the increasing pressure of an interest rate rise could be encouraging first steppers to take the plunge, as well as the dwindling supply of rental housing stock – putting pressure on renters to buy.
“Those selling their homes are keen to push through sales before Christmas, hence the uplift in properties entering the market – but with the average sale taking between nine and 12 weeks, it’s unlikely transactions will be pushed through before Christmas now. Buyers are holding off until January to kick off the New Year with a house hunt.”