One in three home sales this year so far ‘have gone to first-time buyers’

First-time buyers have been behind around a third (33%) of home purchases across Britain so far this year, estimates suggest.

This is up from 29% in 2023, property firm Hamptons said.

Hamptons took the findings from analysis of data from estate agency network Countrywide, which it is part of.

There were also signs of first-time buyers increasingly favouring smaller homes as elevated mortgage rates stretch their budgets.

For the first time since 2011, over half (51%) of first-time buyers purchased a home with one or two bedrooms.

In 2023, 49% bought two-bed homes or smaller, while the majority of new homeowners bought a larger home.

Mortgage rates jumped amid Bank of England base rate hikes. The recent easing back in inflation has boosted expectations around a rate cut.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, said: “The pickup in first-time buyers this year is in part, making up for the lost moves in 2023.”

Last week, Yorkshire Building Society launched a £5,000 deposit mortgage for first-time buyers to buy homes worth up to £500,000.

The Society suggested the mortgage could help to encourage a level playing field for those who do not have financial support from their family.

Yorkshire Building Society’s previous research indicated that around two-fifths (38%) of first-time buyers receive financial help from friends and family to help them onto the housing ladder.