First time buyers at 20 year high

Posted on 27th January 2022

New research suggests that the number of first-time buyers has gone above 400,000 for the first time since before the Great Financial Crisis, according to data released by YBS.

Despite the uncertainties generated by the third lockdown in early 2021, the society's latest estimates suggest the number of first-time buyer transactions reached 408,379 during the year which is a 35% increase on 2020 (303,000). Furthermore, first-time buyers now represent 50% of all house purchases with a mortgage, up from 36% in 2007.

The previous first-time buyer peak was as long ago as 2002, when 531,800 took their first step onto the housing ladder and you must go back 15 years to see transactions at this latest level, reaching 400,900 in 2006. In fact, this year’s figures are broadly double the numbers immediately after the crisis, where they hovered around 200,000 between 2008 and 2012.

Falling unemployment, savings of expenditure from lockdowns, low borrowing costs and an increased number of low deposit mortgage deals are key drivers of current demand.