THE NUMBER of first-time home buyers in the UK fell in December due to the traditional Christmas period slowdown, but showed healthy growth over the year, new data has shown today.
First-time buyer numbers fell by 1,300 or 4.7 per cent month-on-month due to the “traditional winter cooling” period, according to the first-time buyer tracker from estate agent Your Move and Reeds Rains.
However, there was a 1.1 per cent increase in first-time purchases year-on-year, indicating a healthier long-term outlook.
The cost of an average first-time buyer home fell from £153,275 in November to £152,470 in December – a drop of 0.5 per cent, or £805.
But over the course of the year, the average purchase price rose by 3.8 per cent, equating to £5,518.
Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: “An examination of the year-on-year figures reveals a property market that – festive slowdown aside – is going from strength to strength.
“First-time buyers have been buoyed by a positive economic climate and a range of government incentives designed to lessen the immediate costs of home ownership.”
December also saw a decline in costs of getting on the ladder. The average deposit fell by 0.5 per cent, or £117, month-on-month to £25,292.
This continued a broader trend for the year, with the average deposit declining by 7.8 per cent between December 2014 and December 2015.
London remains the priciest location for first-time buyers. The average value of a first-time buyer property in the capital climbed to £343,686 in the three months to December 2015.