"The number of first-time buyers continues to grow and is nearly back to the peak seen of 2006."
First-time buyers now make up the majority of buyers in the market, despite seeing a 21% hike in property prices over the last ten years, according to new Halifax data.
First-time buyers numbers are now at a decade-high, increasing by around 3% in the first six months of 2018 to make up 51% of the market.
The number of first-time buyers has more than doubled since dropping to a record low of 72,700 in the first half of 2009, and is now just 8% lower than at the peak of the last boom in 2006.
This is despite the average price of a home for first-time buyers climbing by 21% from £172,659 in 2008 to £208,741 - more than double the 10% rise for all buyer types.
In London, the average first-time buyer property price has seen the greatest increase (48%) during the last 10 years to £419,608, followed by the South-East (37% to £275,632) and East Anglia (30% to £210,639).
There were relatively modest price rises in the North (8%) and Wales (9%) and in Northern Ireland the average first-time buyer price is a third lower (down 33% to £124,035 and the lowest in the UK) than in 2008.
First-time buyers are also putting down record deposits for their first home. Nationally the average deposit is £33,127, an increase of 71% from £19,364 in 2008.
However owning their own home remains a dream for many young Brits, as half of 18-34 year-olds think it’s harder than ever to get on the housing ladder and almost one in five say they believe they’ll be renting for ever.
A third of young people think the only way they’ll get on the property ladder is by inheriting the cash, while more than one in 10 (16%) would consider upping sticks and moving abroad because of high UK property prices.
Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said: “First-time buyers are having to dig deeper than ever to get onto the property ladder. With the average price now over £200,000 and deposits at £33,000 it’s not surprising that the average age of a first-time buyer has crept up to 31.
“Despite these increases, and the concern many young people feel about home ownership, the number of first-time buyers continues to grow and is nearly back to the peak seen of 2006. Government measures, such as Help to Buy, and record low mortgage rates continue to make buying more financially attractive than renting, with savings of £900 a year.”