Stats recently released by the Halifax, state that there were more than 400,000 people buying their first home in 2021, up 35% from the previous year. That rate dropped by 13% in 2020, when the number of Halifax buyers was about 300,000.
A stamp duty holiday that started in 2020 saw house buyers rush to pick up properties – although first-time buyers were not part of this stampede. However, this did mean that a number of so-called “first-rung” homes came on to the market, which first-time buyers took advantage of in 2021, despite hikes in property prices.
The average age of first-time buyers rose to 32, up from 29 back in 2011, mostly due to “the need to save a significant deposit to get on the housing ladder. The average buyer used a £53,935 deposit on a first property costing £264,140.
Because of difficulties raising a deposit, the gap between the purchase price and the deposit widened in every region in the UK, with many first-time buyers still relying on getting help from their parents to be able to afford a home.
On average, properties now cost nearly seven times the annual salary of first-time buyers, whilst the limit for affordability is considered to be four times the average income. In some areas, affordability has dropped very sharply since 2011, with the director of campaign group PricedOut, which pushes for more affordable housing, saying: “House prices and rents have been pushed out of reach by decades of failure to build enough homes, first-time buyer schemes may help a few, but ultimately they are designed to help people stretch to high prices, rather than dealing with the cause of those high prices.
If you are looking to buy your first home talk to Asset Harbour on 01276 986333 about what is available to help you take that first step on the ladder.