Despite soaring house prices, the number of first-time buyers in the UK has increased by nearly 100% in the last decade, hitting a high of almost 410,000 in 2021, according to new market analysis from Stipendium.
In the last decade, the price of an average first-time buyer's home has increased by £75,254, rising from £141,572 to £216,826. This is an increase of 53.2% and, you might expect, makes for a very difficult buying environment for those who are trying to get their first foot on the property ladder.
While this is true to an extent, the number of first-time buyers has increased by 93.2% in the same time period, rising from 211,920 a year to 409,370.
In fact, the initial pandemic year of 2020 is the only year to have registered a decline in first-time buyer levels in the last 10 years, dropping -11.2% on 2019.
However, with the launch of the stamp duty holiday, first-time buyer activity rebounded at an alarming rate in 2021, increasing by 46.6% to 409,370. This is the highest annual total seen in the last decade
The biggest regional increase in the number of first-time buyers has been recorded in Northern Ireland where they’ve increased by 158.2% in the last decade, followed by England’s South East (133.9%), the East Midlands (133.6%), the West Midlands (129.3%), and the North West (120.6%).
The smallest increase has been recorded in London where the number of first-time buyers has increased by just 81.7%.
Christina Melling, CEO of Stipendium, commented: “There’s no doubt that the task of homeownership is a tough one for the nation’s first-time buyers. Not only are prices high and climbing ever higher, but so too is demand and activity and so they are having to battle it out against multiple buyers, many of whom already have the financial foundation of an existing property to put them ahead.
“Despite this tough landscape, it’s reassuring to see that the level of first-time buyers taking that first step onto the ladder is at its highest in a decade thanks to the additional help of government buying schemes, such as Help To Buy.
"They’ve also benefited from a prolonged period of mortgage affordability, while the wider adoption of technology within this segment of the market has enabled them to utilise various time and money-saving products along the way.”