The Halifax has estimated that in 2014 first-time buyer numbers were at their highest level since 2007.

Over the last 8 turbulent years property prices, lack of suitable available property, lending criteria, the cost of living and slow wage growth have all played a part in hampering the efforts of first time buyers entering the property market but people wanting to own property are not easily deterred.

The number of first-time buyers, The Halifax estimates, reached 326,500 people, an increase of 22% on 2013 figures.

So what has brought first time buyers back to the market?

Moving couple First-time buyersImproved mortgage rates and government schemes to support the construction of more new homes, and Help to Buy in particular, have opened up the prospect of owning your home over the last year.

This has been bolstered by improving employment. Affordability, though still often an issue, is better as better mortgage rates have allowed a reduction in the size of the national average deposit which dropped by 7% over 2014 to £29,218 from £31,582 in 2013.

First-time buyers are also spending a smaller proportion of income on the mortgage than in previous years, 32% of disposable income in the third quarter of 2014, that’s a huge change from 2007 when a first time buyer might expect to pay 50% of their income on their mortgage.

Help to Buy gained greater traction in 2014, allowing people (not just first time buyers) to put down a deposit of 5% of the selling price to secure a property. 80% of Help to Buy scheme users were first-time buyers. However property price increases flew in the face of this scheme somewhat, the national average first time buyer paying £171,870 for their first home in 2014, a 9% rise on 2013.

Will this continue to improve in 2015?

There are measures being introduced or that have been introduced of which we are yet to feel the benefit:

Are you looking to buy your first home?

Register with us and speak to Independent Mortgage Advisor Andrew Fagg from Davenport Financial management to find out what you can afford to buy.