The first-time home buyer market continues to expand in the UK as a greater number of prospective buyers is climbing on to the property ladder. The number of sales made to first-time buyers increased to an eight-month high in July.
Data released by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) shows that first-time buyers have become active in the summer of 2018, as they are successfully completing transactions with the number of properties available to buy increasing for the third month in a row.
Almost a third of sales (30 per cent) was made to first-time buyers, as the group took advantage of the quieter period. This was up from 29 per cent in June 2018 and is an increase of seven percentage points from July 2017 when less than a quarter (23 per cent) of sales were made to the group.
First-time buyers continue to take advantage of the help-to-buy equity loan scheme and the stamp duty tax exemptions. Another reason is that they are successfully completing mortgage applications in view of the relatively low interest rate despite a recent rate increase.
The number of first-time buyers in the UK has already reached a record high of 175,000 during the first six months of 2018. Likewise, the number of mortgages taken by the first-time buyers has similarly gone up.
Meanwhile, the number of properties available to buy in the UK increased for the third month in a row; rising from an average of 33 per letting agent branch in April 2018, to 37 in May 2018, 39 in June 2018 and 41 in July 2018. Year-on-year, this has increased by 17 per cent, as agents had just 35 properties available to market in July 2017, another positive development for the housing market.
FTBs took advantage of the market conditions, and almost a third (30 per cent) of all sales were made to the group in July.