First time buyers (FTBs) are heading back to the property market in their droves, with the number buying homes accounting for over a third of all sales in the sector during August.
In total, FTBs made 36 per cent of all home purchases, a significant improvement on July's figures of 22 per cent, a survey by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has reported.
The rise follows two months where numbers had fallen away, but an annual comparison reveals a real resurgence in FTB numbers. In August 2008, just eight per cent of sales by the association were to FTBs, meaning a four fold increase in the last year.
The encouraging news follows figures from Unbiased.co.uk which said that FTBs accounted for 43 per cent of all mortgage requests in July.
The NAEA said it was also encouraged by the slight upturn in the average number of homes available at its members' offices, rising from 59 to 64. It said the increase is a reflection of increasing number of consumers successfully buying properties, and so putting their own property on the market.
However, the number of house hunters has fallen, with the average estate agent seeing numbers fall from 292 in July to 238 in August, while the average number of sales agreed per branch also decreased, from nine (8.6) to eight (7.6).
Despite this, the NAEA that the expected summer dip in the property market was not as steep as the market had feared.
The figures also revealed that the gap between asking and selling prices has widened once more, increasing from 7.5 per cent to 11 per cent in the month.
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