Looking back, we can see that the turn of the year represented the low point of the current housing market correction.
In the first three months of this year, fewer than 30,000 mortgages were taken out by first-time buyers, compared with an average just before the credit crunch approaching 100,000 a quarter. It was the lowest quarterly figure recorded in the 35 years we have been collecting data.
The last housing market correction was also characterised by a dramatic fall in the number of first time buyers. In that cycle, first-time buyer activity declined between 1990 and 1992 before gradually recovering. But within a few years, there were more first-time buyers than there had been before the market correction.