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First time buyer numbers improve

First time buyer numbers improve

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 11/02/2010
First Published: 11/02/2010

MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE
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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.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 that the end of the stamp duty holiday might hold back first time buyers have proven unfounded, new research has revealed.

According to the National Association of Estate Agents almost one in four (23%) property sales in January were made to first time buyers, up from 19% in December.

Experts had warned that it would be those attempting to take their first step on to the property ladder who would be most vulnerable to the Government's decision to draw the stamp duty holiday to a close at the end of 2009.

However, with recent research from Moneyfacts revealing the number of mortgage products available to homebuyers jumped by almost 19% in January, the likelihood that a first time buyer will be able to secure an attractive deal appears to have improved.

Despite the bad weather experienced during January, estate agents sold an average of six properties during the month compared with five in December.

The average number of house-hunters registered per agent also increased, although the average number of properties available for sale experienced a slight drop.

"Our figures suggest that concerns expressed about the prospects for the market in 2010 may prove unfounded," said President of the NAEA, Gary Smith.

"This appears to be confirmed by the increased level of sales, which given the awful weather conditions is quite amazing. The dwindling housing stock on our members' books reflected the increase in sales month on month, but this is a worrying trend that if continued will result in further upward pressure on prices.

"More encouragingly, the very important first time buyer section of the market now makes up almost one in four purchases. This confirms their confidence in the market as well as their ability to obtain attractive mortgage deals."

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