1st-time buyer numbers back to pre-financial crash levels

First-time buyer numbers in the UK have returned to the levels seen before the 2008 financial crisis.

After a decade of spiralling house prices, tighter mortgage lending criteria and stagnating wages, the Nationwide’s September house price index says the rise in first-time buyers is a positive sign in a subdued UK housing market.

Its index reported flat house price growth of just 1.6 percent month on month. However, the index also noted a rise in the numbers of first-timers making their initial foray into home ownership.

Robert Gardner, chief economist at the building society, said: “Recent years have seen a recovery in first time buyer transactions, which are now broadly in line with pre-crisis levels.

“The improvement in credit availability (including the introduction of schemes such as Help To Buy), historically low interest rates (in particular fixed rate deals), together with a steady improvement in labour market conditions in recent years have all helped boost activity.”