There’s hasn’t been that much positive news for young property hunters in recent years but it seems confidence for first-time buyers is on the rise at last.

According to a survey from UK property website Rightmove, more than a quarter of people who hope to buy a property in 2011 are first-time buyers, up from the lowly figure of 22% in July.

The survey panel commented that the spike in numbers looking to get onto the property ladder mirrored a rise in the number of people who think house prices will fall during the coming year.

A third of first-time buyers now expect property to cost less in 12 months’ time than it does now, up from a fifth in the previous quarter.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: “Lower property prices might well strike fear into the hearts of property-owners, but it will be music to the ears of those eager to take their first step onto the property ladder.

“The success of agents in convincing sellers’ to be more flexible on price lowers one of the key hurdles faced by first-time buyers and sets a precedent for all sellers in a chain to accept their share of the reductions.”

Meanwhile separate research from the National Housing Federation found that a first-time buyer in London now needs to earn nearly £100,000 in order to buy an average priced home.

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