First-time buyer statistics UK: 2024

What is the average age of a first-time buyer in the UK?

Looking for your first home and getting your foot on the property ladder is a massive milestone in your life, but there are some things you need to consider before you buy. Along with saving up for a deposit and finding the perfect home, you also need to find the best first-time buyer mortgage for you. We look at the latest statistics on first-time buyers in the UK.

First-time buyer statistics: Highlights

  • The average age of a first-time buyer in the UK is 34.
  • The average house price for first-time buyers was £236,000 in November 2023, down from £245,500 in November 2022.
  • The average first-time buyer deposit was £62,470 in 2022, up 8% from 2021.
  • The average deposit for first-time buyers in London is double the average UK deposit.
  • The average deposit for UK first-time buyers was 21% of the house price in 2022.
  • In 2022, the number of first-time buyers in the UK was 362,461, down 11% from 2021.

What is the average age of a first-time buyer in the UK?

The average age of a first-time buyer in the UK is 34, up from 32 in 2012 and from 30 in 2007. The age of a first-time buyer has been mostly trending upward since the banking crisis in 2007 and 2008, in part due to stricter mortgage lending rules. House prices have also been rising, making it harder for first-time buyers to access entry-level properties.

What is the average house price for a first-time buyer in the UK?

The average house price for UK first-time buyers was £302,010 in 2022, up 13% from £268,031 in 2021.

House prices vary across UK regions, and for first-time buyers, the highest average price was £518,900 in London. Northern Ireland boasts the lowest average house price for first-time buyers, with an average cost of £171,425.

London house prices for first-time buyers are 1.8 times higher than the UK average, while house prices in Northern Ireland are just 56% of the average house price in the UK. There is a substantial difference in house prices in different parts of the UK, which is a factor many first-time buyers will want to consider.

Number of credit and debit cards in issue UK 2023
Region Average house price for a first-time buyer
London £518,900
South East £362,730
East of England £336,710
South West £281,167
East Midlands £238,208
West Midlands £235,108
North West £212,604
Yorkshire and The Humber £202,154
Wales £199,359
Scotland £189,428
North East £175,091
Northern Ireland £171,425
UK average £302,010

What is the average deposit for a first-time buyer in the UK?

The average first-time buyer deposit in the UK is £62,470, approximately 21% of the average house price for a first-time buyer, which is £302,010.

However, the average deposit for a first-time buyer in London is £125,378, more than double the national average! The South East follows London quite far behind with an average deposit of £68,749.

In other regions across the UK, you can expect to pay less than the national average for your deposit, with the North East of England having the lowest average first-time buyer deposit of £30,198. This is less than a quarter of the average London deposit for first-time buyers.

Number of credit and debit cards in issue UK 2023
Region Average deposit
London £125,378
South East £68,749
East of England £60,169
South West £55,708
East Midlands £42,451
West Midlands £42,339
Scotland £41,442
North West £37,483
Yorkshire and The Humber £37,062
Wales £36,825
Northern Ireland £33,199
North East £30,198
UK average £62,470

What is the average deposit percentage for first-time buyers in the UK?

The average deposit percentage for UK first-time buyers was 21% in 2022, meaning they would have to take out the remaining 79% as a mortgage. You can have a minimum of 5% of the purchase price as a deposit to buy your first home and take out the remaining 95% as a mortgage.

Generally speaking, if you can put down more as a deposit, you can access better deals and rates on your mortgage.

Londoners take the crown for the largest deposit as a percentage of the house price, at 24%. First-time buyers in the North East are putting down the smallest deposits and paying the lowest percentage in a deposit, at 17% of the overall purchase price.

Number of credit and debit cards in issue UK 2023
Region Remaining mortgage Deposit
London 76% 24%
Scotland 78% 22%
South West 80% 20%
Northern Ireland 81% 19%
South East 81% 19%
East Midlands 82% 18%
East of England 82% 18%
North West 82% 18%
Wales 82% 18%
West Midlands 82% 18%
Yorkshire and The Humber 82% 18%
North East 83% 17%
UK average 79% 21%

How many first-time buyers are there in the UK?

In 2022, there were 362,461 first-time buyers in the UK. This is a decrease of 11% from 2021, where there were 405,320 first-time buyers, but an increase from 2020, where 303,980 buyers were looking to purchase a home for the first time.

The drop in first-time buyers in 2020 was mainly due to the housing market coming to a standstill during the coronavirus pandemic, but this quickly rebounded to a record high number in 2021 and has levelled out in 2022.

Number of credit and debit cards in issue UK 2023
Year Number of first-time buyers
2012 211,920
2013 258,210
2014 310,280
2015 298,190
2016 328,500
2017 345,910
2018 353,120
2019 351,260
2020 303,980
2021 405,320
2022 362,461

The number of first-time buyers by region

The South East has the highest number of first-time buyers, with 73,588 residents looking to purchase their first home. This is followed by Greater London, where there were 48,390 first-time buyers in 2022. Although prices and deposits are higher in these regions, they are still highly populated areas, so properties for first-time buyers are in demand!

Interestingly, Northern Ireland had the biggest increase in first-time buyers from 10 years ago, up 112% from 5,010 in 2012 to 10,641 in 2022.

Region Number of first-time buyers
South East 73,588
Greater London 48,390
North West 37,534
Scotland 31,184
West Midlands 30,172
Yorkshire and The Humber 29,635
South West 28,169
East Midlands 27,842
North East 16,716
Wales 15,114
East of England 13,473
Northern Ireland 10,641

What do buyers look for in a new home?

When comparing important features of buying a new home, the quality and quantity of outdoor space took the top spot. Our research showed that 33% of the UK considered this the most desirable feature. A surprising find was that only 17% of those surveyed considered being close to their family/friends the most essential factor to evaluate when buying a new home.

Number of credit and debit cards in issue UK 2023
Choice Percentage
If it has outside space/size 33.20%
The size of the house 28.05%
It has space for parking 24.15%
The property having a nice surrounding area 21.70%
Good transport links 21.20%
Being closer to family/friends 17.05%
Being close to amenities - bars, shops 16.20%
That the area has a low crime rate 14.45%
The cost of running/maintaining the property 14.35%
How the house looks 11.90%

Sources

  • UK Finance
  • Halifax
  • GOV.UK
  • Finder commissioned OnePoll in August 2020 to find out the top considerations for buying a property. 2000 nationally representative UK adults were surveyed.

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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