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Brexit not deterring first time buyers - but mortgage length is soaring

Brexit is not deterring first time buyers this year according to an analysis by the Yorkshire Building Society.

It says that despite huge political and economic uncertainty in the first half of 2019, the number of first-time buyers reached 170,080: this is a three per cent rise on the same period of 2018 and the highest figure since 2007, before the credit crunch. 

In addition, the Yorkshire says the number of people buying their first home has increased by more than 136 per cent over the past 10 years.


The society has based its market analysis on UK Finance data, using the numbers of first-time buyers recorded to June 2019.

Since 2011, the number of buyers getting on the housing ladder has grown every year and, since 2016, has reached more than 150,000 for the first half of the year. The number of new buyers is now just six per cent below the pre-crisis level. 

First-time buyers are also now the most active group of home-buyers, representing 52 per cent of all UK homes bought with a mortgage. 

This is the highest market share since 1995, when 53 per cent of all mortgage-financed homes were bought by those purchasing their first home.

The average price of a typical first-time buyer home has grown from £167,091 in the first half of 2007 to £236,089 in the first half of this year, an increase of 41 per cent or £68,997.

London has seen the largest price increase of 55 per cent or £155,027 but all regions have seen a rise: the most affordable region is the North East, where the average first-time buyer price is currently £136,974, less than a third of the value in London.

First time buyers are now also taking longer mortgage terms. 

In 2007 almost half of first-time buyer mortgages were on a typical 25 year term. By 2019 this proportion had dropped to a fifth. 

In contrast, longer term mortgages of between 25 and 35 years now account for 62 per cent of mortgages, compared to 38 per cent in 2007.

Nitesh Patel, Yorkshire Building Society’s strategic economist, says: “These figures show an increasing confidence to get on to the house ladder with first-time buyer numbers close to their pre-crash levels. This is partly to do with a strong jobs market, with record numbers in full-time employment and resurgence in real earnings growth. Another factor is a highly competitive mortgage market is helping to keep borrowing costs at very low levels.”


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