A good few days for first time buyers and the property market have been rounded off with the news of an increase in the number of UK homes sold in February.
According to HM Revenue & Customs, the sales of around 58,000 properties were confirmed during the month, 14% more than in January and 35% more than in February last year.
However, the figure was still down on the 103,000 sales completed in December, when homebuyers hurried through their purchases before the stamp duty holiday came to an end.
Thankfully, a new stamp duty holiday was introduced in Wednesday's Budget, which should help to shore up the recent recovery in the housing market.
For the next two years, first time buyers buying a property worth anything up to £250,000 will not have to pay any stamp duty.
For those looking to take their first step on to the property ladder, things have started to look up.
Recent research by Moneyfacts.co.uk showed that an increasing number of mortgage deals were becoming available at higher loan to values.
This means those people with only a small deposit to lay down on a new home, who would typically include first time buyers, are enjoying a wider selection of mortgage deals from which to choose. Meanwhile, new figures from the Land Registry showed there was a monthly drop of 0.3% in the average price of houses sold in February, to £164,455.
Despite the fall, prices were still 7% higher than a year earlier, a figure the Land Registry said pointed towards a strengthening in the housing market.
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