The number of first time buyer transactions reached it’s highest level in nearly two years in March, with 32,500 recorded.
The number of first time buyer transactions reached 33,300 in June 2014 .
On a month to month basis, the number of transactions lept 47.7% from February into March, and 34.9% compared to March 2015.
The increase in volumes co-incided with a slight dip in costs, with the average purchase price for a FTB down £1,980 to £166,559 from February in March. Your Move Reeds Rains also reported in their first time buyer tracker that the proportion of monthly income the average FTB consumed by deposit saving also dipped 3.1% over the same period, although that still stands at a hefty 71.8%.
Despite the slight dip in prices, the average purchase price for a first time buyer still sits comfortably above the average price twelve months ago, when the figure was £152,505.
Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: “A flurry of first-timers illustrates a property market progressing at a powerful pace as we head further into 2016. Much was made of March being the month of the buy-to-let landlord and the second-home owner. To an extent that was true – but it’s now clear none of that interest was at the expense of the bottom rungs of the ladder. Would-be first-time buyers are clamouring to own their own home, and we are seeing a sustained surge in demand for suitable homes this spring.
“A continuation of the broadly positive economic climate has likely been a factor spurring would-be first-time buyers to get off the fence and onto the ladder. However, what’s really getting those numbers up is the fact that the range of support options available to first-time buyers is at last beginning to be recognised and utilised. The Help to Buy scheme is assisting those with limited capital recognise their dreams, while the Government’s offer of cut-price homes for first-time buyers is easing supply in a part of the market that typically struggles to match roaring demand with constrained supply.
“First-time buyers are benefitting from some fiercely fortunate conditions in March. With a golden combination of high LTV lending and low mortgage rates, securing the finance for a first home is within the reach of many who previously wrote it off as a pipe dream. There are also encouraging signs that rising home values – ever the nemesis of the cash-conscious first-time buyer – are beginning to cool. This is partly a result of the Government-backed affordable home scheme increasing supply at the lower end of the market and partly an indication that those setting foot onto the ladder are toughening up their act by driving harder bargains with vendors or finding good value locations in which to become a homeowner.”