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Number of first time buyers hits ten year high

Mar 9, 2018

The property market continues to show signs of progress as figures from UK Finance show 2017 saw the highest number of first time buyers since 2006.  Emma Gilliland, Residential Conveyancer, here reviews the figures and explains why this is good news for the housing market as a whole.

The total number of first time buyers stepping onto the property ladder was 365,000 in 2017; an increase of 7.4% from 2016.  “While this is positive news for the first time buyers, there was a mixed story in terms of other property owners,” explains Emma.  “Buy-to-let mortgages were down by 17.2% compared to the previous year; being explained by the recent tax changes.  However, in more positive news, re-mortgaging saw an 8.3% increase compared to 2016.”

Help to Buy ISAs

Various government schemes have been praised as leading this increase, namely Help to Buy ISA’s, as well as healthy levels of employment and low mortgage rates.  “The government has embraced supporting people onto the property market, appreciating that they are the future to the survival of housing growth,” continues Emma.  “The government has recognised the costs associated with buying a home and the Help to Buy ISA allows first time buyers to raise money to pay for those, as well as giving a bonus when the account is closed.”

Other incentives such as shared schemes have also been praised as giving more options to first time buyers.  “Shared ownership and shared equity allow the buyer to own a portion of the home while paying rent on the remainder, giving them the chance to buy more of the property in the future,” explains Emma.  “These are becoming increasingly popular, particularly with those who struggle to raise a deposit to buy 100% of a property.”

Emma concludes, “First time buyers are really seeing the most benefits when it comes to the housing market; not only with these options but also with the abolishment of Stamp Duty last year for properties priced up to £300,000.  This has seen a huge saving for first time buyers and allows them to get closer to their dream of owning their own home.  It will be interesting to see the direction the government continues to move in, and whether they not only keep supporting first time buyers, but whether they look at the market as a whole and also take the declining buy-to-let market into consideration.”

The Residential Conveyancing teams at Warner Goodman have years of experience helping first time buyers onto the property ladder.  For more information on Help to Buy ISA’s you can visit the Conveyancing section of the website here, or click here for information on shared schemes.  You can also contact Emma or a member of the team by emailing


This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interepreted as, legal advice.