First time buyers reached an estimated 353,436 in 2019, according to findings from the Yorkshire Building Society.
This marked a marginal increase from the 353,130 first time buyers recorded in 2018, but was the highest level of first time buyers since 2007.
The Yorkshire Building Society said that these figures were “gradually approaching pre-financial crisis”.
It also revealed that in five of the last six years, first time buyers with a mortgage exceeded 300,000.
Almost twice as many first time buyers secured a mortgage in 2019 compared with 2008.
Of all homes purchased with a mortgage in 2019, 51% were first time buyers, compared with 38% in 2008.
Whilst London and the South East were the most expensive regions for first time buyers, they remained the most popular, with first time buyers accounting for 12% and 20% of sales respectively.
Strategic economist, Nitesh, Patel said: “Even though the number of first-buyers has stayed pretty much the same as last year, it is still encouraging to see first-time buyers top 350,000 for the second year in a row.
“They also represent over half of all homes bought with a mortgage, meaning the first-time buyer mortgage market share is at its highest since 1995, when they bought 53% of all mortgage-financed homes.”
She added: “First-time buyer numbers may now be plateauing as property prices have grown at a faster rate than salaries over the past 12 years.
“This means larger deposits are needed to get on to the property ladder, leading to challenges and barriers to homeownership, which are most pronounced in London and the south-east.
“Government schemes such as Stamp Duty relief, Help to Buy equity loans and Help to Buy ISAs will have made an impact. This combination of factors has made buying a home more accessible in recent years.”