First time buyers: the Chancellor's aspirations, in context

Published: 8th Apr 2015

"I would like to see us double the number of first-time buyers up to half a million [per year]. That is the kind of level we saw in the 1980s."—George Osborne, interviewed in The Sunday Telegraph, April 5, 2015

The Chancellor's announcement came after a weekend of housing claims and election promises. We've looked elsewhere at claims from Ed Miliband on housing.

According to data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), the number of mortgages for first-time buyers was about 200,000 between the economic downturn in 2008 and 2012. Since then the number has risen, and it grew to over 300,000 in 2014.

If the Chancellor were to achieve his target of 500,000 first time buyers per year, this would indeed be a return to 1980s levels.



It's worth pointing out these numbers don't entirely show the number of 'first time' buyers as you'd normally understand them. According to the CML they can include people who've actually owned a property before, but aren't owner-occupiers at the time of purchase.

We've commented previously on the Coalition government's Help to Buy scheme, and on a claim that young people are being priced out of the housing market. Look out for our briefing with full details on the issue.


Leaked 'fake news' inquiry report - our response and how you can help

We aim for our factchecks to be as accurate and up-to-date as possible. If you think we've made an error or missed some relevant information, please email