The number of first-time buyers increased by an estimated 10 per cent in the first six months of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015.
There were an estimated 154,2001 first-time buyers in the first half of 2016 compared with 140,500 in the same period last year, according to the latest Halifax First Time Buyer Review.
The figure was also more than double the market low in the first half of 2009 (72,700). For the same six-month period since 2012, the number entering the housing market has exceeded 100,000.
Nonetheless, the number of first-time buyers in the first half of 2016 was nearly a fifth lower (36,700) than at the peak of the last boom in 2006.
The number of first-time buyers has increased more rapidly than the number of those moving home over the past few years as a whole. As a result, first-time buyers have increased as a proportion of all mortgage-financed house purchasers from 38 per cent in 2011 to an estimated 47 per cent in 2016.
However, the percentage has been stable over the past three years as the numbers of first-time buyers and homemovers have risen at a similar pace since 2014.
The average first-time buyer deposit in May 2016 was £33,9602 – more than double that in 2007 (£16,400). There has been a 14 per cent rise in the deposit over the past year largely reflecting the increase in house prices over that period.
Copeland is the most affordable place in England for first-time buyers with the ratio house price to average earnings ratio being 2.9.
Chris Gowland, mortgages director at Halifax, said: “There was a further increase in the number of first-time buyers in the first half of the year with the total exceeding 100,000 in the first six months of each year since 2012.
“This rise has been broadly in line with a general improvement in market activity and is likely to have been helped by Government measures including the Help to Buy scheme.
“Although numbers remain below their previous peaks and many potential first-time buyers are facing escalating house prices and deposit sizes, record low mortgage rates continue to make buying seem a more attractive option than renting.”