The proportion of first-time buyers paying stamp duty has leapt from 48% to 56% in the space of just a year, reveal the latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
The CML says only 15% of home movers escaped the tax in August, compared with 21% a year earlier.
It claims first-time buyers are continuing to struggle in the current market and accounted for just 35% of the total number of house purchase loans in August - their lowest level since the survey began in April 2005.
More encouragingly, their numbers have been rising in absolute terms - and at 38,100 were actually more robust than the 34,900 in August last year.
The age of a typical first-time buyer has also remained consistent at 29 for the past year.
But affordability worsened for first-time buyers in August as while the median first-time buyer mortgage remained at 90% of the property value, typical income multiples rose to 3.27, up from 3.24 in July and 3.08 in August last year.
The proportion of income first-time buyers spent on their mortgage interest payments also rose to 17.1%, the highest level since February 2005, and up from 16.7% in July and 16.5% in August last year.
And the average size of a first-time buyer loan increased at twice the rate of the increase in average first-time buyer income.
Across the market as a whole - first-time buyers, movers and people remortgaging - fewer loans were taken out at fixed rates. While still accounting for 60% of new loans, the popularity of fixed rates has slipped from its peak at 76% in November and December last year. Trackers are rising in popularity, accounting for 25% of new loans in August, their highest proportion on record.
Michael Coogan, director general at the CML, says borrowers are falling into two camps.
“There are those who believe rates are near their peak, and who are confident enough to risk a short-term rise in rates for the pricing benefits offered by discounts and trackers. And there are those who want greater financial certainty, who may well be increasingly choosing longer-term periods over which to fix their rate.
"Overall affordability has worsened a little, especially for first-time buyers. Over the period of a year, small monthly changes can nevertheless be significant - as the rise in the proportion of mortgage borrowers required to pay stamp duty shows. For the rest of this year, we expect some moderation in activity although the market is continuing to outperform our earlier forecasts."
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Matthew West on 020 7484 9893 or email [email protected].IFAonline
Putting the tech into protection
Square Mile’s series of informal interviews
Fallout from Haywood suspension
Launching later in 2019
£80bn funds under calculation