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Rental market to stay strong as First Time Buyer numbers plummet

A new analysis suggests that the number of first time buyers has plummeted by over 10 per cent in the past year. 

When the pandemic struck in 2020, first-time buyer property purchases dropped significantly to 303,980. This marked a 13.5 per cent annual drop, the largest annual decline in the last decade.. 

However, the introduction of the stamp duty holiday in July 2020 helped to rejuvenate the market with the estimated number of first-time buyers rocketing to 405,320 in 2021, climbing 33.3 per cent in a single year. 


Not only was this the highest annual increase in the last decade, it also pushed the number of first-time buyers within the market far beyond any level seen since 2012. 

However, there are signs that the pandemic property market party may be over as there has been a sharp annual decline in FTB numbers over the last year. In 2022, there were an estimated 362,461 first-time buyers, a year on year dip of 10.6 per cent.

The largest annual reductions in FTB levels by region have come across Wales and the South East (both down 12.5 per cent), Northern Ireland (down 12.2 per cent) and the South West (down 12.1 per cent).


The research is from property business Wayhome, whose chief executive Nigel Purves says: “The good news is that there are still more first-time buyers making it onto the ladder when compared to the pre-pandemic benchmark, but there are concerns this downward trend could become more prominent going forward. 

“The cost of borrowing remains substantially more expensive despite mortgage rates starting to level out and we’re yet to see any real reduction in the already sky-high cost of a home. What’s more, the Help to Buy scheme has all but shut up shop and so there is very little help available for the nation’s first-time buyers when it comes to tackling the sizeable cost of homeownership.”


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