First-time buyer mortgages at highest level since 2006

First-time buyer mortgages have reached their highest level in more than a decade. Yorkshire Building Society says the number of newcomers to property ownership in 2018 reached its highest level since 2006.

The building society analysed the numbers of first-timers being accepted for a mortgage, revealing that 367,038 secured a mortgage in 2018. In 2017, 362,800 first-time buyers successfully bought with a mortgage.

In 2006, first-time buyer numbers reached a high of 402,800. Two years later, in the wake of the worldwide financial crisis, those figures had plummeted to 193,300.

According to the Yorkshire’s data, first-time buyers now make up half of all home buyers, purchasing with a mortgage, the highest since 1995 when 53 percent of property bought with a mortgage went to a first-timer.

The building society analysed data from UK Finance, which covers all lenders, using complete figures for the year to the end of October and estimating figures for November and December.

Nitesh Patel, the Yorkshire’s strategic economist, said: “Property prices have grown at a faster rate than wages over the past decade, which has created difficulties for first-time buyers.

“Various factors have helped to alleviate this challenging environment, although the market is still pretty tough for those wanting to become homeowners.

“However, the figures indicate that Government initiatives such as stamp duty relief, Help to Buy equity loans and Help to Buy Isas may have made an impact.

“Over the past three or four years, we’ve also seen more mortgage lenders offering 95 percent loan-to-value mortgages, as well as strong competition driving mortgage rates down.

“Despite these challenges, the first-time buyer market has bounced back following the financial crisis to outperform other sectors, such as the home-moving and buy-to-let markets.

“Buying your first home remains tough for many, but it’s encouraging to see first-time buyer levels at a 12-year high and climbing.”