First time buyer mortgage applications rebounded to near pre-lockdown levels in June, and for 36%, buying a property away from a city centre has become a bigger priority following lockdown, according to analysis by Leeds Building Society.

Leeds Building Society looked at UK industry figures, which show the numbers looking to purchase their first home in June bounced back to 85% of the previous 2020 peak in early February.

39% said their plans to buy their first home have not changed, while 38% said the pandemic had motivated them to buy a property, with responders hoping house prices would fall to cheaper levels, making it easier for them to get onto the property ladder.

First-time buyers make up 33% of those looking to buy

Internet speeds (42%), outdoor space (53%), energy efficient homes (42%) and having an extra room/bedroom (36%) have all risen in importance.

Matt Bartle, director of products at Leeds Building Society, said: “It’s encouraging to see these figures showing first time buyer demand recovered so strongly as lockdown restrictions eased.

“The housing market is so far proving resilient, and while this is undoubtedly a challenging time, the government’s stamp duty announcement is expected to have a positive impact in the months ahead.

“As a building society our aim is to help people save and have the home they want, and first time buyers will always remain an important part of the housing market.”