About 26 per cent of people who hope to buy a property during the coming year are first-time buyers, up from a low of 22 per cent in July, according to property website Rightmove.
The group said the small increase in the number of first-time buyers who thought they would be able to get on to the property ladder coincided with 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 the cost of property to be lower in 12 months' time than it is now, up from only a fifth who felt this way during the previous quarter.
The research also showed that only 28 per cent of people are trying to buy their first home on their own, with 69 per cent buying as a couple and 2.5 per cent with their parents. Just under 1 per cent of people plan to buy a property with a friend.
More than half of first-time buyers are now aged between 25 and 34, with less than a fifth aged under 25. Rightmove questioned 25,584 people during October.