The number of FTBs doubles in 2021: Barclays

The number of first-time buyers (FTB) in the UK doubled in 2021, with volumes up 98% on 2020, according to Barclays Mortgages’ first-time buyers index.

According to the index, FTBs paid an average of £281,000 in 2021 to access the property ladder, a decrease of £12,600 from 2020, although this figure is higher than the 2019 figure (249 £700).

Almost two-thirds, or 64%, revealed they thought they would never get to the property ladder, while 64% revealed they would have struggled to get funds without the support of their family.

The average income of a solo FTB rose to £50,800 over the year, the data shows, from £50,300 in 2020 and £45,900 in 2019.

“It is encouraging to see that first-time buyers have been able to access the property ladder in increasing numbers since the start of the pandemic,” says Claire MacPhail, mortgage expert at Barclays.

“However, although the number has almost doubled in the last year, it is worrying to hear that many still believe they will never be able to afford their first property.”

“Our index underscores the importance of first-time buyers being supported by their families, so it’s critical that lenders innovate to provide new ways for first-time buyers to get a head start.”

The average deposit paid by a single FTB last year was £61,100, a significant reduction from the previous year which was £71,400.

For co-buyers it was £61,000, down slightly from the 2020 figure, which was up to £71,400.

The lender also highlighted a lack of consumer knowledge in the space, with 55% of potential or existing FTBs revealing that they didn’t know how to start the process of buying their first property.

As many as 39% said they were unaware of additional costs incurred during the process.

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