First-time buyer boost prompts cautious housing market hope

The number of first-time buyers in the UK is the highest since the 2007 housing market crash

The number of first-time buyers in May was at its highest since 2007, according to new figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

The number of mortgages issued to people buying property for the first time reached 25,100, which was 29% higher than in April, and 42% higher than in May last year. First-time buyers accounted for 45% of all house purchase loans, compared to the 38% average recorded since the housing market crashed in 2007.

Paul Smee, CML director general, said: “Both the borrowing appetite of first-time buyers and the availability of attractive mortgages for them, have improved markedly since a year ago.”

However, he noted that monthly lending is still running at less than half its typical monthly level during the peak. Housing and homelessness charity Shelter say there is an urgent need to build more affordable homes to tackle what they call a “massive housing crisis.”