This is up from 40% a year ago and almost eight times the proportion of affordable LADs at the peak of the housing market in 2007 when only 7% of LADs were affordable.
The number of FTBs has risen over the past year, albeit from a historically low level, helped by the improvement in affordability. Halifax estimates that there were approximately 114,000 FTBs in the first half of 2012, up by just over a third (34%) from the same period in 2011 (85,600), but less than half the number a decade ago (244,700).
The recent ending of the stamp duty holiday is likely to have boosted the number of first-time buyers in the first six months of 2012 as some buyers brought forward their purchases to meet the March deadline.
Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, commented:
"With first-time buyers forming a vital part of the housing market, it is clearly encouraging that the number of those getting onto the property ladder for the first time may well increase this year, albeit from a historically low level. This partly reflects the substantial improvement in home affordability for first-time buyers since 2007, following the fall in house prices over the period."
"However, the continued uncertainty over the outlook for the UK economy and the difficulties faced by many in raising the necessary deposit remain significant hurdles for those wishing to buy their first home.”
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