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05 Aug, 2019/ by Homeward Legal /First Time Buyer

First-time buyer numbers have almost recovered to pre-financial crash levels.

New analysis from the Nationwide's monthly House Price Index shows that annual house price growth has stayed stable, below 1 percent for the eighth month in a row - July's rate was 0.3 percent.

But while older homeowners, those aged 55 and over, are staying put in greater numbers and restricting the supply of property on the market, more FTBs are getting their foot on the first rung of the property ladder.

Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, said: "First-time buyer transaction numbers have now almost recovered to pre-crisis norms.

"This reflects the steady improvement in labour market conditions in recent years, together with historically low mortgage interest rates and an improvement in credit availability, including the introduction of schemes such as Help to Buy."

Meanwhile, the deadline for new applicants to open a Help to Buy ISA is drawing closer.

FTBs can claim up to £3,000 tax free from the Government-backed scheme towards a deposit on a first property purchase.

However, the scheme will close to new savers on November 30 this year, so time is of the essence for FTBs to get their share of the available finance. The alternative, Lifetime ISA, will be the long-term replacement for the Help to Buy ISA, and FTBs can open an account in each, although the tax-free bonus can only be claimed through one of them.

You can open an account with as a little as £1.

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