First-time buyer numbers across 2017 'highest in decade'
The number of people taking their first step on the property ladder reached its highest levels in a decade last year, a trade association representing mortgage lenders has reported.
There were 30,800 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in December 2017, 5.2% fewer than in the same month a year earlier, UK Finance said.
But across 2017 as a whole, 365,000 first-time buyers were recorded - the highest number since 2006.
The 2017 total was an annual increase of 7.4% more first-time buyers compared with 2016.
The average first-time buyer is aged 30 and has an income of £41,000, according to UK Finance's latest figures.
Paul Smee, head of mortgages at UK Finance, said: "2017 saw the number of first-time buyers reach its highest level in a decade, which is welcome news for those getting started on the housing ladder.
"But although the market remains competitive there is no room for complacency, with weaker December figures consistent with our market forecast of subdued growth this year."