A new analysis from the Yorkshire Building Society has revealed that first-time buyer mortgage approvals hit a record high in 2018.

Despite higher UK house prices, mortgage approvals hit a 10-year high allowing an increase of 362,800 first-time buyers to take out mortgages in 2018 compared to 2017.

The year 2018 saw 367,038 first-time buyers take out mortgages. This is compared to the 193,300 taken out following the financial crisis in 2008.

“Property prices have grown at a faster rate than wages over the past 12 years, which has created difficulties for first-time buyers,” said Nitesh Patel, a Yorkshire Building Society strategic economist.

“Various factors have helped to alleviate this challenging environment, although the market is still pretty tough for those wanting to become homeowners.”

“However, the figures indicate that government initiatives such as stamp duty relief, Help to Buy equity loans and Help to Buy ISAs may have made an impact. Over the past three or four years, we’ve also seen more mortgage lenders offering 96 per cent loan-to-value mortgages, as well as strong competition driving mortgage rates down,” he added.

“This combination of factors has made buying a home more accessible in recent years. But getting onto the housing ladder is still not an easy step for many young people, as demonstrated by the increasing numbers who have received help from the bank of Mum and Dad.”

“Despite these challenges, the first-time buyer market has bounced back following the financial crisis to outperform other sectors, such as the home moving and buy-to-let markets.”

“Buying your first home remains tough for many by it’s encouraging to see first-time buyer levels at a ten-year high and climbing.”