First time house buyers highest in 7 years

The number of first time house buyers in 2014 increased to its highest level since the financial crisis, according to a report by Halifax.

Halifax estimates that 326,500 people bought their first property in 2014 - an increase of 22% compared to 2013.

This is the highest level since the financial crisis began in 2007.

First time buyers have already benefited from the government's stamp duty reforms announced in the 2014 Autumn Statement:

  • the changes saved the average first time buyer £781 on their house purchase
  • the average tax bill for a first time buyer property has fallen from £1,718 to £937 following the reforms
  • the proportion of first time buyers exempt from stamp duty fell to 41% in 2014 from 45% in 2013.

Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax, said:

"Improving economic conditions and rising employment levels have boosted confidence among those thinking about getting on to the housing ladder for the first time, contributing to the significant increase in the number of first time buyers in the past 2 years.

"Record low mortgage rates and government schemes such as Help to Buy have improved affordability, enabling more first time buyers to buy their own property."

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