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First-time buyer numbers fall

The number of first-time buyers in the UK housing market fell to a 20-year low over the last 12 months and changes to stamp duty are unlikely to change that.

First-time buyer numbers fall

That’s according to the latest Financial Research Survey from market research GfK which suggests that only 347,000 people took out a mortgage for the first time in the year to February.

br>Despite last year’s stamp duty holiday on properties costing up to £175,000, it that figures was less than half what it was in 2004/05 and well below the annual average of 561,000.

br>It is also 100,000 fewer than the low points of the last recession of the early 1990s, GfK said.

Rising house prices and the increasing sizes of deposit demanded by lenders means that the average age of a first time buyer is also creeping upwards, at 32 compared to 31 in 1991.

However, GfK also found that an increasing proportion of mortgages are being taken out by the over-50s as parents buy up properties for their children who can’t get onto the property market.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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