The first-time buyers continue to remain a dominant house buyer group in the UK. Last year, they accounted for more than 50 per cent of all home purchases in the UK.

“The overall number of first-time buyers in 2019 remained stable, up around 1% from 353,130 in 2018 to 356,767 in 2019,” said Halifax in a recent report.

Despite an increase in the average price paid by a first-time buyer (FTB), £231,455 in 2019, up 9 per cent over 2018, more FTBs are stepping on to the property ladder. The average deposit paid by FTBs also increased by 7 per cent in 2019 to reach £46,187, indicating the demand from this group, as developers continue to target FTBs.

Northern Ireland saw the biggest increase in the number of FTBs in percentage terms, up by 6 per cent year-on-year (10,430 to 11,013). London remained broadly stable, with FTB numbers increasing by 2 per cent (40,960 to 41,712).

The previous decade witnessed some big shifts in the FTB market. The volume of transactions surged by around 84 per cent over the last 10 years, from 193,940 in 2009 to 356,767 in 2019. Over this time, it grew from 39 per cent to 51 per cent of all home purchases.

According to Halifax, Northern Ireland saw the biggest growth in FTBs since 2009 in percentage terms, up by 151 per cent (4,380 to 11,013). London’s FTB numbers have not grown much owing to property rising prices.