1st-time buyer mortgages at highest level in a decade

First-time buyer mortgages reached their highest level in 11 years in 2017. According to figures from UK Finance, the trade body for lenders, there were 365,000 first-time buyers in the UK last year, the highest number since 2006.

That figure was a rise of 7.4 percent on 2016, but UK Finance said housing market growth among first-time buyers is expected to “cool” in 2018.

The average first-time buyer taking out a mortgage is 30 years with an annual household income, either individually or as a couple, of £41,000, according to the UK Finance data.

Paul Smee, head of mortgages at UK Finance, said: “2017 saw the number of first-time buyers reach its highest level in a decade, which is welcome news for those getting started on the housing ladder. But although the market remains competitive, there is no room for complacency.”

The figures showed that there were 30,800 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in December, down 5.2 percent on the same month in 2016. The £5.1 billion of new lending in December was down 1.9 percent year on year.

However, with the Stamp Duty Land Tax exemption in England giving first-time buyers a break on paying the tax on the first £300,000 of any property purchase, the outlook for those looking to get a foot on the ladder is looking brighter than it has in recent years.