More than 350,000 first-time buyers got on property ladder last year

More than 350,000 people took their first step on the property ladder last year, according to a trade association.

Mortgage lending figures from UK Finance show there were 351,450 first-time buyers across 2019.

The total across the UK was slightly down on 2018, when there were 353,130 first-time buyer mortgages, which was the highest annual total since 2007.

Despite the year-on-year dip, the number of first-time buyers purchasing homes last year was still higher than levels seen between 2008 and 2017, UK Finance said.

First-time buyers now make up around half (50%) of people buying a home with a mortgage and their average age is just under 32.

There were 29,490 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in December 2019, slightly up by 0.3% compared with the same month in 2018.