First-time buyers staged a fighting comeback in 2015 to make up more than two-fifths of all buyers, new figures show.
Last year, 43% of all home movers were first-time buyers, up from 37% in 2014.
The figures from Reallymoving.com are based on analysis of data from 200,000 house movers.
First-time buyers didn't overstretch themselves either, paying on average 75% of the price paid by other buyers, down from 79% in 2014.
The average first-time buyer paid £202,000 last year, against £269,000 on average.
The cost of first-time buyer purchases rose 4% in 2015 against 9% for all other homebuyers.
The property site's annual review of UK homebuyers also found that half of all moves in 2015 were to properties nine miles or less from their previous address.
Rob Houghton, chief executive of Reallymoving.com, said despite the rise in first-time buyer numbers certain parts of the country will be virtually unobtainable for those at the bottom of the property ladder until a full review of planning regulations.
“Large areas of the country remain prohibitively expensive for many.
“Until planning regulations are changed to allow more properties to be built we don’t see much prospect of a significant change in this.
“We’re also encouraged to see the average distance of home movers continue to drop. Our belief is that as the jobs market improves people are not having to move as far to find work.”