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 a first-time buyer in the UK in 2019 is 32 years old.
  • This is 2 years older than the age of the average first-time buyer in 2018, which was 30 years old.
  • There were 353,000 first-time buyers in 2019, which was 159,000 more than in 2009.
  • The average deposit placed by first-time buyers in 2018 was £32,800.
  • The average first-time buyer mortgage in December 2019 was £174,000.
  • £210,000 was the average house price of homes bought in England by first-time buyers in 2019.
  • 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).

The housing market vs coronavirus

While in lockdown, people aren’t able to view properties and it’s much harder to get a mortgage. These factors, plus a lack of appetite to sell or buy, means the house pricing market has taken a hit in the UK. The number of house sales in the UK is forecasted to fall 40%, from 1.18 million properties to only 734,000 sold in 2020.

Prices are also anticipated to fall by 3% in the short term. Exactly how it will play out is impossible to predict, as no one knows the effects of the pandemic, but a drop in demand is expected to last until at least September.

How old is the average first-time buyer?

The average age of a first-time buyer is 32 in December 2019, 2 years older than the average age in December 2018. The average age of first-time buyers in the UK has remained fairly consistent over the last 3 years at above 30 years of age, increasing to 32 years of age in February of this year.

32 years old

The average first time buyer in the UK is 32 years old in December 2019.

Number of first-time buyers

The total number of first-time buyers has remained consistent over the last three years with around 350,000 first time buyers each year. 2019 predictions show that there has been a small amount of growth in the number of first-time buyers of 1% from 2018 to 2019. The biggest rise in the last 10 years was in 2013 where there was a 22% increase in first-time buyers.

In 2019, over half of the homes purchased with house purchase loans were by first-time buyers – this is the first time this has happened in the last 10 years with the figure slowly increasing year-on-year since 2011.

Explore the graph and table below to find out the trend in the number of first-time buyers over the last 10 years.

Year Number of first time buyers Annual change (%) FTB as a percentage of House Purchase Loans
2009 193,900 +2% 39%
2010 193,600 0% 37%
2011 188,000 -3% 38%
2012 212,900 +13% 40%
2013 258,700 +22% 44%
2014 300,400 +16% 46%
2015 297,500 -1% 46%
2016 329,000 +11% 48%
2017 345,900 +5% 49%
2018 353,100 +2% 50%
2019* 356,800 +1% 51%

By region

The number of first-time buyers varies by region, with the South East having the most first-time buyers in 2019 with over 68,000 people buying their first home. The region with the lowest amount of first-time buyers was Northern Ireland where just over 11,000 people bought their first home in 2019.

Explore the map and table below to find out how many people bought their first home in your region in 2019.

The number of first-time buyers has risen in every single region across the UK since 2009. The region that experienced the most growth in the last 10 years is Northern Ireland, where there was a 151% increase in 2019 compared to 2009 – with 6,600 more first-time buyers. The biggest change in numerical terms is the South East, where 28,000 more people bought their first home in 2019 compared to 2009 (69% increase). Explore the graph and table below for more information.

First-time buyers by region, 2009 and 2019 compared

First-time buyers by region, 2009 and 2019 compared

Region 2009 2019* Numerical Change Percentage Change
North 7,920 16,229 8,309 104.91%
Yorkshire and the Humber 14,720 30,456 15,736 106.90%
East Midlands 13,710 27,737 14,027 102.31%
East Anglia 7,730 12,563 4,833 62.52%
London 29,250 41,712 12,462 42.61%
South East 40,410 68,485 28,075 69.48%
South West 16,530 28,378 11,848 71.68%
West Midlands 15,520 31,848 16,328 105.21%
North West 18,200 38,675 20,475 112.50%
Wales 7,410 16,106 8,696 117.35%
Scotland 17,580 33,558 15,978 90.89%
Ireland 4,380 11,013 6,633 151.44%
UK** 193,940 356,767 162,827 83.96%

First time buyer mortgages

Over 350,000 of us took out mortgages to buy our first home in 2019. In December 2019, 29,490 first time buyer mortgages were taken out, 0.3% more than in December 2018 (29,390). Take a look at the graphic below to see how many first time buyers took out a mortgage each month of 2019.

Based on a total mortgage borrowing in 2019 of £59.9 billion, the average mortgage size is, therefore, equivalent to £170,000 in 2019.

Time period Number of new first-time buyer mortgage loans
December 2018 29,390
January 2019 24,430
February 2019 24,320
March 2019 28,210
April 2019 26,640
May 2019 29,620
June 2019 31,570
July 2019 31,240
August 2019 33,500
September 2019 29,070
October 2019 32,520
November 2019 30,840
December 2019 29,490

Average first-time buyer house price per region

The average house price of a home bought in England by first-time buyers in 2019 was £210,000, £125,000 in Scotland and £149,000 in Wales. The region in which first-time buyers bought their homes had a huge impact on the price they paid. The average house price in London (Inner and Outer London averaged) was understandably the highest, costing £438,000 compared to just £110,000 in the North East of England. Explore the map below to find out more.

Region First-Time buyer average price
Scotland £125,231
Wales £149,063
England £210,284
Inner London £512,887
Outer London £363,851
Yorkshire and The Humber £141,988
East Midlands £166,009
West Midlands Region £170,332
East of England £241,550
London £414,952
South East £260,748
South West £213,384
North East £111,885
North West £142,989


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

Matt Mckenna
UK communications manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806

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