First-time buyer statistics

How many Brits are getting their foot on the property ladder?

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Looking for your first home and getting your foot on the property ladder is a massive milestone in your life, but it doesn’t come without a few obstacles along the way. Along with saving up for a deposit and finding the perfect home, you also need to consider which mortgage lender is right for you.

Quick overview

  • The average age of Brits when they buy their their first home is 34 years (where home ownership is over 50%).
  • This is 8 years older than in 1997, where the average age was just 26 years old.
  • Despite the average age rising, the number of first-time buyers is rising.
  • There were 370,000 first-time buyers in 2018, which was 177,000 more than in 2008.
  • The average deposit placed by first-time buyers in 2018 was £32,800.
  • The average first-time buyer mortgage in 2018 was £179,000.
  • £212,000 was the average house price of homes bought by first-time buyers in 2018.
  • The average deposit for first-time buyers in London (£110,000) is almost as much as the average house price in the North of England (£126,000).

How old is the average first-time buyer?

The average age of a first-time buyer is calculated by the age group where home ownership exceeds 50%. In 2017, the average age of owning a home is 34 years old, up from 28 years old in 2007 and 26 years old in 1997. This means that it was taking us an extra 8 years to become homeowners in 2017 than it did just 20 years earlier in 1997.

Explore the graph and table below to see home ownership percentages for each age group in 1997, 2007 and 2017.

Age 1997 2007 2017
16-20 13.8% 9.6% 7.7%
21 17% 12.1% 5%
22 28.8% 19.8% 10.9%
23 36.2% 27.8% 14.8%
24 40.4% 33.3% 18.6%
25 48.1% 40% 25.9%
26 53.8% 45.4% 30.6%
27 56.4% 49.1% 33.6%
28 61.3% 51.9% 36.1%
29 64.8% 56.5% 38.3%
30 65.6% 61.1% 44.5%
31 67.5% 63.2% 44.8%
32 72.2% 63.9% 47.8%
33 71.5% 66.3% 49.7%
34 73.4% 69.8% 53%
35 74% 70.9% 54.9%
36 75.8% 72.1% 56.2%
37 76.5% 74% 59.1%
38 76.5% 73.5% 62.7%
39 79.1% 74.8% 64.2%
40 77.7% 76.7% 64.4%

Number of first-time buyers

The total number of first-time buyers has been steadily rising each year in the UK with 370,000 Brits buying their first home in 2018, which was a 2% rise on 2017. The biggest rise in the last 10 years was in 2013 where there was a 24% increase in first-time buyers. 2008 saw the biggest fall in the number of first-time buyers, where the year-on-year change was a decrease of 47%.

Year Number of first time buyers Annual change (%)
2008 192,300 -47%
2009 196,700 +2%
2010 199,400 +1%
2011 193,700 -3%
2012 217,900 +12%
2013 269,500 +24%
2014 309,100 +15%
2015 309,400 0%
2016 337,200 +9%
2017 362,800 +8%
2018 370,000 +2%

By region

The number of first-time buyers varies by region, with the South East having the most first-time buyers in 2018 with over 72,000 people buying their first home. The region with the lowest amount of first-time buyers was Northern Ireland where just over 10,000 people bought their first home in 2018.

Explore the map and table below to find out how many people bought their first home in your region in 2018.

The number of first-time buyers has risen in every single region across the UK since 2008. The region that experienced the most growth in the last 10 years is Northern Ireland, where 7,500 more people bought their first home in 2018 compared to 2008, which represent a 258% increase. The biggest change in numerical terms is the South East, where 34,800 more people bought their first home in 2018 compared to 2008 (93% increase). Explore the graph and table below for more information.

First-time buyers by region, 2008 and 2018 compared

First-time buyers by region, 2008 and 2018 compared

Region 2008 2018 Change (%) Number change
North 8,300 17,200 107.23% 8,900
Yorkshire and the Humber 15,800 31,100 96.84% 15,300
North West 18,800 39,700 111.17% 20,900
East Midlands 13,400 28,700 114.18% 15,300
West Midlands 16,400 32,900 100.61% 16,500
East Anglia 6,700 13,200 97.01% 6,500
Wales 7,700 16,400 112.99% 8,700
South West 14,300 30,500 113.29% 16,200
South East 37,300 72,100 93.30% 34,800
London 27,900 43,500 55.91% 15,600
Northern Ireland 2,900 10,400 258.62% 7,500
Scotland 22,100 34,300 55.20% 12,200
UK 192,300 370,000 92.41% 177,700

Average loan and deposit

The average house price of homes bought by first-time buyers in 2018 was over £212,000. In order to afford this, the average deposit was £32,800, or 15% of the house price, with a mortgage on average of £179,600.

The price of a house is of course dependent on many factors, none more so than its location.

  • The most expensive region. Unsurprisingly, the most expensive region is London, where the average house price is £426,900 – requiring a deposit of £110,700 and a mortgage of £316,200.
  • The cheapest region. On the other end of the spectrum, the cheapest region was the North of England where the average house cost just £126,100 – comprised of a £17,100 deposit and £109,000 mortgage.
  • The difference. This means for first-time buyers the average deposit in London (£110,000) is almost as much as the average house price (£126,000) in the North of England.

Explore the graph and table below to find out more.

Region Average house price (£) Average mortgage (£) Average deposit (£) Deposit as a percentage of purchase price
North £126,104 £108,991 £17,112 14%
Yorkshire and the Humber £142,638 £122,811 £19,827 14%
North West £149,089 £127,640 £21,449 14%
East Midlands £165,399 £140,608 £24,791 15%
West Midalnds £174,908 £148,395 £26,513 15%
East Anglia £210,874 £174,263 £36,611 17%
Wales £144,542 £128,094 £16,449 11%
South West £210,200 £173,071 £37,128 18%
South East £279,349 £227,213 £52,136 19%
Greater London £426,857 £316,202 £110,656 26%
Northern Ireland £129,615 £111,538 £18,077 14%
Scotland £141,671 £121,719 £19,952 14%
UK £212,473 £179,631 £32,841 15%

Sources

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Matt Mckenna
UK communications manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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