The latest annual Halifax first-time buyer review has indicated that there was an increase of approximately 12% in the number of first-time buyers during 2012.
According to the research, there were approximately 216,000 first-time buyers (FTBs) in 2012. This figure represented a 12% increase on the figure of 193,000 recorded in 2011.
Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, commented on the figures:
“The number of first-time buyers has risen to a five year high, boosted by the improvement in affordability resulting from the reductions in both house prices and mortgage rates in recent years.
“Conditions for potential first-time buyers, however, remain very difficult with problems raising the necessary deposit and concerns over the economic climate continuing to prevent many from entering the market,” stated Ellis.
It is also interesting to note that the buy to let sector within central London has improved significantly in the latter stages of 2012.
The fourth quarter of 2012 saw average rental values fall by 2.3% within central London. As a result of this, average weekly rents fell to £996. This represented the first time they have fallen below £1,000 since the first quarter of 2011.
It is also worth noting that there has been a fall in average rental values, largely as a result of the decrease in the average price of weekly rents.
Despite all of this, it appears as though buy to let investors are eager to add to their portfolios in areas across central London.
All of this news points towards a positive future for the property market within 2013. The government will certainly be keen to maintain this momentum in the hope that the sector can make a positive contribution towards the wider economy.