Rising house prices don't seem to have deterred first-time buyers, as UK Finance's latest figures reveal that 2017 saw the highest number of first-time buyers since 2006, with 365,000 people taking that first step onto the property ladder. This marks an impressive annual increase of 7.4%.
Data from December shows that the last month of the year did see a slight dip in activity, with 30,800 new loans marking a decrease not just from the previous month, but also the previous year. What did see an increase – rather unfortunately but expected given the continued increase in house prices – was the median value of loans, with first-time buyers borrowing £142,200 to buy that first home. In contrast, home movers borrowed £180,999 and the average house price stood at £226,756, with the latter up by 0.4% month-on-month according to the Government's House Price Index.
The average loan-to-value among first-time buyers, meanwhile, stood at 81.4%, suggesting that they are looking beyond first-time buyer mortgages, which offer deals for those with just a 5% deposit. If you can afford to get together a bigger deposit, you are likely to find that you can get a better mortgage deal.
First-time buyers weren't the only ones to slow down in December, as home mover numbers also decreased. Indeed, only remortgages saw an increase, reflecting the usual slowdown in house purchases that occurs at the end of the year. It's expected that January's numbers, when they are released next month, will see an increase again, with a new year often being a great time for people to move or just remortgage to a better deal.