Last edited 26 Feb 2021

First-time buyer


First-time buyer is a term normally associated with the residential property market. Very simply, describes people who are prospective purchasers of their first property, be that a flat or house.

Most, but certainly not all, first-time buyers are young people who have recently started their working life and are keen to get on the housing ladder. This can be a difficult process, given the problems associated with saving for a mortgage deposit, their limited funds and their potentially unestablished credit status. This is particularly so given the housing shortage and long term increase in house prices.

People are generally having to work longer to be able to save for a mortgage deposit. In 1960, the average age of a first-time buyer was 23, and they needed to save for two years to have £595 (around £12,738 today) available for a mortgage deposit.

In 2019, the average first-time buyer will be 30 or older and they will typically have to save for more than five years to have their required average mortgage deposit of £20,622.

Recent years have seen the introduction of various government and private-sector initiatives designed to help first-time buyers get onto the housing ladder. These include:

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