Nearly two-thirds of first-time buyer mortgages being taken out are in joint names, according to a lending giant.
Some 63% of first-time buyer mortgages completed between January and November last year were in joint names (involving at least two parties), leaving 37% as sole applications, Halifax said.
Its figures were based on mortgage completion data from Halifax, Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland, which are all part of Lloyds Banking Group.
The number of joint first-time buyer mortgages has been creeping upward in recent years, according to the group’s figures.
In 2021, 59% of first-time buyer mortgages completed were joint applications and in 2020 the proportion was 57%.
Back in 2016, sole first-time buyer mortgages were in the majority (52%) of those completing that year, with 48% being joint applications.
Mortgage rates jumped in 2022 as the Bank of England base rate climbed and the markets reacted to the mini-budget.
Several recent housing market reports have pointed to house prices softening, which may provide some opportunities for people looking to get on the property ladder this year.
Kim Kinnaird, mortgages director at Halifax, said: “Buyers looking to make their first step on to the property ladder may welcome the forecasted fall in house prices this year – providing the supply is there.
“Nonetheless, the cost of purchasing a home is still significant and saving for a deposit can be challenging for some first-time buyers.
“The length of time needed, and cost of, raising a deposit are likely having an impact on the profile of the average first-time buyer over time.
“Today, those starting out on the housing ladder are 32 years old, on average – two years older than a decade ago – and almost two-thirds of people are now getting their first mortgage in joint names.”
Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, said: “Cash buyers and downsizers are in pole position given how far borrowing costs have risen over the last 12 months.
“In the middle is a group of buyers sitting at varying levels of equity. At the other end are first-time buyers, who typically purchase at higher loan-to-value ratios.
“More mortgage debt means the stakes are higher as rates edge down following the shock of September’s mini-budget.
“Getting the right mortgage at the right time could mean savings of several thousand pounds.”