First-time buyer numbers fell nearly 5% in December as the traditional winter cooling hit the UK property market.
Some 26,600 buyers took their first step onto the ladder, a fall of 4.7% on November, when the figure totalled 27,900.
However, first-time buyer activity grew by 1.1% in 2015, equivalent to 300 more per month, according to the latest First-time Buyer Tracker from Your Move & Reeds Rains.
Adrian Gill, director of the estate agents, said: “December’s first-time buyer market is once again suffering from the effects of the Christmas crunch.
“Most of those looking for their first home turn their attention – and their finances – towards an often very costly festive season."
Gill said that year-on-year figures reveal a property market that is going from strength to strength.
“Steady growth over the course of the year indicates a resurgence in first-time buyer confidence.
“First-time buyers have been buoyed by a positive economic climate and a range of Government incentives – such as the reduction of Stamp Duty on lower-priced properties – designed to lessen at least the immediate costs of home ownership."