The number of people owning homes in Bolton has skyrocketed despite growing house prices, an estate agent says.

Matthew Fish at Harrisons Estate Agents has found that the number of homeowners grew by 3,637 households between 2017 to 2021.

In 2017, there were 47,377 Bolton owner-occupied homes but by 2021, this had grown to 51,014 Bolton homes.

This means homeownership in Bolton has risen from 56.46 per cent of the households in Bolton in 2017 to 58.53 per cent in 2021.

On why the growth has occurred, Matthew said: “95 per cent mortgages have been readily available at low-interest rates now for over a decade.

“In 2017, first-time buyers also got an exemption from stamp duty and this created a perfect storm of demand, which caused the number of Bolton first-time buyers to rise.

Another reason could be the recession of 2008, where many homes were repossessed or re-mortgaged and due to this there were less people owning homes until recently.

The British millennial generation is also now entering its prime homebuying period as they have saved their deposit and are more likely to inherit money from their grandparents.

The average age of a first-time home-buyer in the UK is 33 compared to 26 in the mid-1990s.

Also, the number of houses on the market in Bolton and nationally available to buy from existing owner-occupiers is starting to grow nationally up from 355,700 properties in December 2021 to 431,000 in March 2022.

This is giving greater confidence to other Bolton homeowners too scared to put their homes up for sale because they are concerned they would to not be able to find anything else.

Matthew added: “Many 'accidental landlords' have been selling their properties recently, which first-time buyers have bought.

“Accidental landlords put their own homes up for rent in the early to mid-2010s because they could not sell.

“Now they have been motivated to cash in on the higher Bolton house prices in the last couple of years, which increased the supply of properties to buy for owner-occupation.

 “There are signs of a recovery in British new home building as the number of new housings starts in 2021 hit the highest level since the financial crisis of 2007.

“Bolton’s homeownership could continue to swell for a while yet.”