First-time buyers accounted for 29% of total sales in September, a rise of 45% compared to August.
The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) September Housing Market Report also reported a drop in the number of househunters and available properties listed at each estate agent branch.
Mark Hayward, managing director, National Association of Estate Agents, welcomed the increase in first-time buyers, who made up just 20% of total sales in August.
“We’re seeing a whole range of new competitive mortgage products coming on to the market, which is likely to be encouraging first steppers to take the plunge, as well as the fact that the ‘impending’ interest rate rise has now been pushed back to next year at the very earliest."
Hayward said more affordable housing is required if the promising trend is to continue. "Until substantial numbers of new houses are built, we won’t see every first-time buyer reach the bottom rung of the ladder.”
The number of house-hunters registered per estate agent branch dropped in September, following a period of high and unsustainable demand in July and August, the report found.
On average, there were 342 prospective buyers registered at each NAEA member branch in September.
This is a drop of 16% from the 408 recorded in August, and a 26% drop from July when demand reached an 11-year high with an average 462 house-hunters per branch.