First-time buyers now accounting a record one third of the market

First-time buyers purchased 33% of homes in Britain so far in 2024, up from 2023’s total of 29%, Hamptons research has revealed.

If this continues their share of the market will be at an all-time high level, as it compares to just 17% in 2014.

Hamptons attributed this to strong availability of high loan-to-value lending and low interest rates, coupled with a clampdown on buy-to-let.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, said:

“In a bid to escape the heated rental market, first-time buyers have dominated the sales market this year, making up a record third of all purchasers.

“This unprecedented move comes despite a limited package of government support measures.

“Instead, with high mortgage rates curtailing their ability to borrow, most are compromising on a smaller home to get a foot onto the housing ladder.

“The market continues to be dominated by those who can afford to buy, rather than those who want to.

“And the pickup in first-time buyers this year is in part, making up for the lost moves in 2023.

“Longer term, in a similar fashion to post-2008 when the removal of high loan-to-value lending put purchases out of reach for many, unless rates fall markedly, homeownership will be restricted to the most affluent households, reversing the decade-long increase in first-time buyer purchases.”

London saw the biggest increase. First-time buyers purchased a record 50% of all homes sold in the capital so far this year, a 9% uplift from the 41% recorded in 2023, and up from 28% a decade ago.


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