The latest research from Connells Survey & Valuation has revealed that January saw an increase in the number of first-time buyers jumping on to the property ladder.
First-time buyer valuations grew by a fifth year-on-year (21%) in the first month of 2017, helped along by high employment and a rise in weekly earnings.
As a result, first-time buyers have now become an increasingly important cog in the overall housing market, accounting for a third of activity (34%), up from just a quarter (25%) at the start of 2016.
“With UK employment close to its eleven year high and weekly earnings rising by 3%, many first-time buyers are fitter financially than they were a year ago,” John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, commented.
“Aided by cheap mortgages rates, aspiring home owners have seized the opportunity to get their first foot on the ladder. The demand for homes has been particularly high in January, with the Connells Group estate agency network for instance seeing nearly 12 applicants per each new instruction that comes onto the market.”
While first-time buyers are now making up a third of activity, Bagshaw believes the government can’t rest on its laurels and needs to do more to make sure the supply side of the housing market starts functioning effectively.
“First-time buyers tend to be younger couples, keen to start families, so need to be able to move up the rungs on the property ladder easily,” he said.
“The policies to ensure the right homes are built in the right places within the new White Paper should help boost the supply of family homes, but the Government must also deliver on their pledges to build homes faster to ensure a healthy housing sector over the next few years.”