Demand from first-time buyers is driving the UK housing market as landlords and homeowners hold off making any big decisions, according to the latest research.
The findings from Connells Survey & Valuation reveal that first-time buyers made up almost half - 49% - of all property purchases last month, which is up 6% on the five year average of 43% for July.
Greater activity among people looking to get a foot on the housing ladder was supported by a jump in mortgage lending, with first-time buyers taking out 36,000 loans in June, up 22% month-on-month and 6% year-on-year, reaching its highest level since November 2006.
John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, said: “Demand from first-time buyers is supporting the housing market at the moment. People are eager to get on the property ladder, with record high employment and competitive mortgage rates. But this doesn’t mean it’s an easy task to get a foothold in the market.
“Economic conditions are still tough. The increasing cost of living and house price inflation are making it harder to save for a deposit. House prices are around eight times higher than earnings – and they’re rising twice as fast.”
With the value of a typical property rising £10,000 in a year, Bagshaw insists that first-time buyers “still need help” and suggests that they “could be given an exemption from stamp duty”.