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Halifax explains why most first time buyer applications are in joint names

Almost two thirds of first time buyers mortgage completions are in joint names (with two or more people), according to the Halifax.

It says it’s unsurprising, given the increase in deposits over the last decade. 

First-time buyers put an average deposit of £53,414 down last year, £21,000 more than a decade ago. Although the average salary is higher than it was a decade ago, now £43,257, getting together a deposit large enough to put down on a first home means raising more than a year’s average pay.


Those buying a property for the first time accounted for 53 per cent of all home loans last year. It was also the highest proportion, since 1995, of all home purchases with a mortgage.

However, the overall number of first-time buyers fell by 21 per cent to 293,339 last year, compared to 2022.

The average house price for buyers entering the housing market in 2023 was £288,136, five per cent lower than the previous year. 

Despite this, house prices for first-time buyers remain over £132,000 or 86 per cent more expensive, on average, than 10 years ago.

The average first-time buyer is now over 30 years old in all regions and nations, with the UK average at 32 years old.

When looking more locally, Ribble Valley in the North West has the youngest average first-time buyer at 27 years old. The oldest first-time buyers, at 37 years old on average, can be found in Slough, South East.

Many of the most affordable places to buy a first home are in Scotland. Inverclyde in West-Central Scotland is the most affordable - properties here are around 2.6 times the average salary (£41,598).

At the other end of the scale, London continues to host some of the least affordable places in the country to set up a first home. First-time buyers in Islington, North London, face properties 10.6 times the average salary (£57,548).

Kim Kinnaird - Mortgages Director at the Halifax - says: “Following a record year in 2021, unsurprisingly in view of the wider economic environment, the number of first-time buyers joining the property market fell again in 2023 to around 293,000. 

“Despite this drop, new buyers made up over half of all home loans. However, to get a foot on the ladder most people are now buying for the first time in joint names.

“There are a number of schemes available to support first-time buyers, like the mortgage guarantee scheme, which allows us to offer up to 95 per cent mortgages to first-time buyers and has been extended until June 2025. 

“Alternatively, the First Homes scheme offers discounts on new-build homes to first-time buyers, while shared ownership options allow new buyers to purchase some of the property and rent the rest.

“The overall fall in house prices we saw in 2023 will go some way to helping people get on the ladder for the first time – but these buyers are still dependent on a steady supply of properties in their price range, while they are faced with the continued pressure of saving for a deposit, when rent and living costs are high.”


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