First-timer sales up 11pc

There were 25,800 completions for first-timers in September compared to 23,200 a year ago.

Average first-time buyer deposits fell by 8% year-on-year to £26,134 despite purchase prices rising by 3% annually to £150,950.

David Newnes, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: “Help to Buy has helped keep the blood pumping in the first-time buyer market over the last year, allowing borrowers struggling to save for a deposit the financial life support they need to purchase property.

“At the same time, MMR regulations have performed a health check on their finances, ensuring they will be able to withstand a future base rate rise.

“Lenders have increased the range of higher LTV options available to borrowers, allowing the average first-time buyer deposit to fall even as purchase prices increase.”

On a monthly basis first-timer transactions fell by 11% as part of a seasonal fall, yet this is less than the 12% reduction from August and September last year.

There were 11,588 house purchase approvals to borrowers with a deposit worth less than 15% of the property value in September, 1% more than in August 2014 and 45% more than in September 2013.

London’s first-time buyer purchase prices stood at £276,168 in Q3, £170,000 more than the average purchase price in Northern Ireland (£106,993) and £130,000 more than the UK average (£143,721).

First-time buyers in the capital also have the largest average deposit, totalling £75,774 in Q3 compared to the UK average of £26,078.

Newnes added: “Borrowers increasingly have to prove their financial resilience to access the higher LTV deals available. There is more lending, but at the same time it is more responsible and sustainable.

“Loan to income caps announced in June have added further restrictions for lenders to factor in, on top of the tranche of regulations implemented in April.

“The effect is that lending is tied to wages much more tightly than in the past.”