Despite the cliché of the unattainable Millennial dream of homeownership, the number of first-time house buyers in the UK market has hit its highest level in 12 years.

Some 367,038 mortgages were issued to first-time buyers in 2018 which accounted for half of all house sales that year, the highest proportion since 1995.

 This doubles the same figure for 2008 and almost matches the 402,800 level of 2006.

Government Help to Buy schemes have helped more than one in 10 of them to buy newly built homes in particular. Young homeowners may want to consider home insurance to better protect their newly-gained asset.

This positive news follows a rough time for UK house prices as Brexit uncertainty stalls growth and is turning more existing homeowners away from selling.

A recent survey by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) suggested homes in cities and major towns were on the market for 102 days on average before being sold or put under offer, which is six days longer than in 2017.

Nitesh Patel, Yorkshire Building Society economist, said the market is still “pretty tough” for those hoping to buy.

“Over the past three or four years, we’ve seen more mortgage lenders offering 95 per cent loan-to-value mortgages, as well as strong competition driving mortgage rates down. 

“This combination of factors has made buying a home more accessible in recent years. But getting on to 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.”