First-time buyers are vital to a fluid property market, as they purchase at the bottom of the chain, allowing people to move up and preventing stagnation between buyers and sellers.

So it's great news to hear the number of first-time buyers in the market today is at its highest level for 9 years. The Halifax First-Time Buyer Review, released in January 2017, shows there are more first-time buyers now than during any year since 2007, with 335,750 property buying novices in 2016.

If you're wondering how they did it, read on. Those considering their first property purchase should start by talking to an independent mortgage advisor - normally you can book an appointment with one in a branch of a reputable estate agent (read about the benefits here). They will talk through your financial circumstances and help match you with a mortgage.

The good news is mortgage rates are at record lows, meaning repayments are affordable. Lenders are also willing to agree loan terms of over 25 years - 30, even 35 years, adding an extra level of affordability.

An independent mortgage advisor will also discuss whether any of the Government's Help to Buy assistance schemes - such as the first-time buyers' ISA and the equity loan scheme - will make purchasing your first home easier. 

Have a read of these first-time buyer stories here - it shows that your first home can be a reality and not a pipe dream.