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First-time buyers on the up in January as market hints at recovery

Figures show first-time buyers increased by 12% in 2012

2012 saw the highest number of first-time buyers since the financial crisis in 2007. There were 216,000 new first-time buyers in 2012, up 12% on the previous year according to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). This comes at the same time as both RICS and the ONS announced improvements in the housing market. The ONS revealed that house prices rose by 3.3% last year and yesterday RICS announced that sales had increased for the fourth consecutive month in January.

“House prices have increased across most of the UK in 2012, although prices in Northern Ireland have continued to fall,” the ONS said. Commentators are putting the tentative improvement down to the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending scheme which has allowed banks to borrow money from it at cheap rates on the condition that it is lent to consumers and businesses.

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