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13 January 2017

2016 ‘saw most first-time buyers since 2007’

There were more first-time home buyers in 2016 than at any point in the last nine years, new research shows.

Buyers investing in their first property rose to an estimated 335,750 in 2016, Halifax said. This is the highest figure since the start of the financial crisis in 2007, when it was 359,900.

However, the research suggests deposit sizes have more than doubled over the last decade and first-time buyers will now need to raise more than £32,000.

In 2006, prospective homeowners' deposits across the UK were £15,168 on average. Today, the figure is £32,321.  This is around 16% of the price of a typical first home, which is £205,170 on average.

These figures rise dramatically in London, with a first-time buyer's deposit totalling more than £100,000 and a typical price of £402,692 for their first home.

Stamp duty is also being increasingly factored into the costs of would-be buyers. More than two thirds (71%) of first-time purchases in 2016 exceeded the £125,000 stamp duty threshold, up from 45% in 2013.

Martin Ellis, a housing economist at Halifax, said: "Across the regions there is a contrasting picture. In London - which has one of the youngest populations in the UK - the average house price for a typical first-time buyer is now more than an eye-watering £400,000 with an average deposit of over £100,000 - more than twice that in the South East, the next most expensive region."

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