First time buyer levels reached 7 year high in 2014

By Lauren Burns

The number of first time buyers in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK getting their foot on the property ladder reached a seven year high in 2014.

The Halifax estimates that 326,500 property purchases in the UK last year involved first time buyers, which is the highest number since the recession started in 2007. Despite marginal increases in property prices the market saw recovery to different degrees across most of the regions in the UK. Mortgage director at Halifax, Craig McKinlay, puts the activity among first time buyers down to "improving economic conditions and rising employment levels". Cheaper mortgage rates and assistance via government schemes is also thought to have contributed to the increase in property purchases, as well as lower rates on offer from mortgage lenders.

According to Halifax, the size of a deposit being put forward by house purchasers dropped by 7 per cent in 2014, with the average amount varying regionally.

It is hoped that the stamp duty reform introduced at the end of last year will further increase activity in the property market in 2015, though some believe the changes will only result in higher house prices. An impending interest rate increase is also expected to impact property transaction levels.

If you are buying a house in Northern Ireland, or selling or remortgaging your existing home, contact one of the property solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt for information and advice by calling 0800 840 9290.

Or request a conveyancing legal fees estimate online by clicking here.