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First time buyer numbers dwindle

First time buyer numbers dwindle

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 18/12/2009
First Published: 18/12/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Fears over the state of the housing market have resurfaced after it was revealed the proportion of first time buyers (FTBs) has dropped to its lowest level for twelve months.

According to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), only 19 per cent of registered buyers in November were looking to put their foot on the property ladder for the first time.

The figures represent the lowest level of FTBs seen since last December when the proportion of FTBs plummeted to 11 per cent, and significantly down on the 43% reported six months ago.

"Any tax holidays result in a distortion in the market and in the case of stamp duty needed to be carefully managed and phased out rather than falling off a cliff," said NAEA president, Gary Smith.

"Unfortunately as first time buyers often form the foundation of selling chains there could be repercussions throughout the sector."

On a more positive note for the mortgage market, the average number of house sales made at each NAEA branch remained steady at eight. It represents a boost to the market, as a seasonal lull is usually seen during this time of year.

The number of properties for sale at branches edged up slightly, from 57 in October to 58 in November.

"It is encouraging to seer that the market is in a stronger and more stable position than it was twelve months ago," added Mr. Smith. "To sustain improvements, the Government should put more pressure on banks to ensure lending is available."

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