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The number of first time buyers in 2016 was the highest since the start of the financial crash, according to the Halifax.

There were 335,750 FTBs last year, compared to a the peak of  402,800 in 2006, and a low of 192,300 just two years later.

However, the Halifax also reported that the average first-time deposit has more than doubled to £32,321 compared to a decade ago.

David Gibson, managing partner at Whitton & Laing said that “people buying for the first time this year face lower competition from investors and second-homers, some of whom have been deterred from the market by the increased stamp duty for these sorts of properties, and we expect this trend to continue during 2017”.