The findings suggested there could be an increase in first-time buyer numbers this year, although it would still be from a low level.
This partly reflects the substantial improvement in home affordability for first-time buyers since 2007, following the fall in house prices over the period. However, the continued uncertainty over the outlook for the UK economy and the difficulties faced by many in raising the necessary deposit remain significant hurdles for those wishing to buy their first home.
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A chilly night with widespread frost and fog in some parts of the UK which will be slow to lift in the morning.