The past few years have brought about little other than doom and gloom for first-time buyers in the UK. Headlines have been dominated by news of prohibitively high property prices, increasingly tough lending restrictions, requirements for enormous deposits and so on – all making it difficult for newcomers to begin climbing the property ladder.

Nevertheless, a new report published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) suggests that there’s actually been an uptick in the number of first-time buyers taking those all-important first steps. According to the figures, total borrowing among first-time buyers for March 2017 came out at £4.9 billion – a massive leap of close to 30% from the month prior. This also represents an impressive 9% increase compared to March last year.

Broken down into a little more detail, the report posted a total of approximately 31,500 loans for March, up 12% from the same month last year and 30% up compared to February. This is by far the highest number of loans provided for first-time buyers this year, suggesting that things may be starting to head in the right direction.

The performance noted in March outperformed the same month in every year for the past decade. Further highlighting an apparent improvement in performance in general, another report published by Connells Survey & Valuation showed that valuation activity for first-time buyers accounted for more than a third of all housing market activity during April. Which once again represents an impressive 32% increase on the month prior.

“First-time buyers have been responsible for more than 30% of valuation activity for over 12 months,” said John Bagshaw of Connells, “as more aspiring homeowners get their first foot on the ladder.” The increase is also due to the fact that the Mums and Dads of the worls are helping out by applying for bridging loans or remortgages to arrange deposits for first time buyers.

Even in the face of sky rocketing house prices and stagnating wages, confidence and willingness among first-time buyers appears to be growing. There may have been a significant plummet in the overall market activity in the wake of last year’s Brexit vote, but the picture for 2017 so far appears to be significantly brighter. Which as far as most analysts and economists are concerned can be attributed to one thing in particular – mortgage rates which continue to hover around record lows. Despite the fact that the properties themselves are costing more and more, actual monthly mortgage outgoings have been decreasing over the past couple of years, thanks to an extraordinarily low mortgage rates.

Of course, one of the biggest challenges faced by most first-time buyers is that of coming up with the required deposit in the first place. Nevertheless, with such incredible offers still available from many leading mortgage providers, first-time buyers in growing numbers are going to whatever length necessary to come up with the cash and lock in an outstanding deal.

Which is precisely what the experts are advising more first-time buyers to do – lock in the deal of a lifetime now, in order to avoid a potential lifetime of regret. –

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