FIRST-time buyers make up nearly half of all house purchases financed by a mortgage but those taking their first step on the property ladder need to put down a £33,000 deposit on average, a report has found.

During the first half of 2017, 47 per cent of all house purchases with a mortgage across the UK were made by first-time buyers, according to the Halifax First-Time Buyer Review.

But the average price paid for a first home is at a record high of £207,693, Halifax found.

The average first-time buyer deposit put down in the first six months of 2017 was £32,899 - equating to 16 per cent of the purchase price.

In London, first-time buyers need to put together a deposit of £106,577 typically, or 26 per cent of the average price of a home.

First-time buyers in Northern Ireland put down the lowest deposits in cash terms on average, at £16,457.

In Scotland, first-time buyers need a deposit of £21,565 on average while in Wales the typical first-time buyer deposit is £17,193.

Across the UK, the number of first-time buyers reached an estimated 162,704 in the first six months of 2017, which is only 15 per cent below a peak seen in the last boom in 2006, Halifax said.

Schemes such as Help To Buy, combined with low mortgage rates, have given aspiring home owners a helping hand in recent years.

The proportion of first-time buyers has grown from 44 per cent since the launch of Help To Buy in 2013, Halifax said.

There are also signs of first-time buyers stretching their loans out for longer, beyond the traditional 25-year term, to cover higher house prices.

In 2016, more than half (56 per cent) of their mortgage terms were for 25 to 35 years. In 2007 just over a third (38 per cent) of first-time buyer mortgages were for between 25 and 35 years, Halifax said.

The least affordable area for first-time buyers was identified as Brent in London. A typical first-time buyer home there costs £459,499. or around 12.5 times local average earnings.

Stirling in Scotland was identified as the most affordable place for first-time buyers, with a home there costing around £136,181 or around 2.9 times local average earnings.

Halifax used figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the research.

Martin Ellis, a housing economist at Halifax, said that for the third time in four years the numbers getting on the housing ladder in the first half of the year have exceeded 150,000.

“It is a level of momentum not seen since before the financial crisis,” he said.

He said: “High levels of employment, low mortgage rates and government schemes such as Help to Buy have also helped these numbers remain robust, as first-time buyers continue to form a fundamental part of the UK housing market.”