MORE people are getting on the property ladder than at any time since 2007 with 359,000 first-time buyers making a purchase in 2017.

New figures from Halifax reveal a sharp increase from the 339,600 people who bought their first home in 2016 and show 2017 levels were only just short of the 2007 peak of 359,900.

The average first-time purchase is now worth £278,749 compared with £78,855 ten years ago, while the age of an average first-time buyer has risen from 29 to 31 in the same period.

Antony Gibson, sales managing director at Romans, said: “Market conditions have become significantly more favourable for first-time buyers in the last year and this is reflected in a sharp increase in the number of people buying their first home.

“The decision to scrap stamp duty for first purchases of up to £300,000 has reduced the cost of getting on the ladder by thousands of pounds and made it a more realistic prospect for a huge number of people.

“Low mortgage rates, high employment and Help to Buy have all supported young people in getting on the ladder.”