The number of first-time buyers in the UK has hit a new low.

The most likely cause for the new low in mortgages for first-time buyers is because of the size of deposit which is required to secure a mortgage deal, which now stands at 15% of the property value. On average, first-time buyers are borrowing 3.24 times their income, which is the lowest multiple since July 2006.

Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that just 17,300 first-time buyers purchased a property in July 2008, the lowest level since records began in 2002. The number of first-time buyers has almost halved over the past year.

CML director general Michael Coogan said: “Tighter lending criteria have clearly made it more difficult for first-time buyers to enter the market.”