First-time buyer numbers in seven out of 11 UK regions are below half the level desired for a healthy housing market, according to a survey by property website Rightmove.
In all but four UK regions first-time buyers represent less than 20 per cent of potential customers, with 40 per cent considered the appropriate and healthy level for a properly functioning market.
Of all the regions only London is currently operating according to pre-credit crunch norms, with 41.2 per cent of those intending to buy in the capital in the next year being first-time buyers.
Scotland is the hardest hit region with just 16.8 per cent first-time buyers, while Wales and the South-west have 17.6 per cent each.
Between July 09 and July 11, would be first-time buyer levels dropped from 30.8 per cent to 23 per cent, according to the survey.
This was despite an 11 fold increase in mortgage products available to first-time buyers, Rightmove claim.
The website said that saving for a deposit remained the single biggest barrier to entry for most buyers, “indicating that more initiatives such as (government backed shared equity scheme) FirstBuy are needed”.