The research found first timers accounted for 49% of the purchase market, six percentage points higher than the July average of 43%.
The results repeated the trend spotted by UK Finance, which found the influence of first-time buyers was growing in the first half of the year, following government tax interventions.
Getting a foothold
But John Bagshaw (pictured), corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, said more needed to be done to help first time buyers, despite the upswing.
“People are eager to get on the property ladder, with record high employment and competitive mortgage rates. But this doesn’t mean it’s an easy task to get a foothold in the market,” he said.
“Economic conditions are still tough. The increasing cost of living and house price inflation are making it harder to save for a deposit. House prices are around eight times higher than earnings – and they’re rising twice as fast.
“With the value of a typical property rising £10,000 in a year, first-time buyers still need help. Perhaps they could be given an exemption from stamp duty?” he added.
The research also found remortgaging accounted for 36% of market activity in July, 10 percentage points higher than the five year average for July (26%).
Bagshaw noted that the growth in remortgaging suggested consumers looking to refinance were benefiting from lender competition.
“A large number of those remortgaging are going onto long-term, fixed-rate mortgages to lock in to attractive deals,” he said.
“Many feel there could be an economic storm on the horizon as we leave the European Union, and there also are concerns over a base rate rise.
“In the purchase market, the shortage of housing stock means people are finding it harder to see their next move,” he added.