Despite the introduction of government schemes designed to support struggling buyers in their bid to become homeowners, the latest figures have shown that the number of first-time buyers fell in April.
Data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) showed that April marked the first downward turn in lending to first-time buyers for four months, with a total of 19,400 loans worth £2.5billion.
While lending to first time buyers dipped by 1% between March and April, the number of loans issued to first-time buyers has actually increased by a staggering 57.7% in a year-on-year comparison.
The share of the market occupied by first-time buyers was also strong in April at 46%, a figure that is significantly higher than the property market peak up to 2007, when first-time buyers accounted for 38% of total borrowing.
Further figures from the research showed that the average deposit size for first-time buyers had fallen to 19% in April, from 20% in March, perhaps indicating that lenders are easing the size of deposits they require to secure a mortgage.
CML director general Paul Smee argued that government initiatives will have an impact on the first-time buyer market.
“The Help to Buy scheme announced in this year’s Budget should provide a further boost to the first-time buyer and home mover markets, but we still await further details on how the initiatives will work,” he said.
The CML’s comments come in spite of the fact that a recent report by former Bank of England economists found that the Help to Buy scheme, which offers all buyers the chance to snap up a new build home with a 5% deposit and a 20% equity loan from the government, could see the cost of a home rise 30% by 2015.