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First time buyers boost mortgage deals

First time buyers boost mortgage deals

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 13/04/2012
First Published: 13/04/2012

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

First time buyers significantly boosted the number of mortgage deals in March, as they looked to beat the stamp duty holiday deadline.

Figures from LSL Property Services show that the number of mortgage transactions rose by almost
a third (32%) during March.

The number of completed deals was also up by 10% on February.

It is estimated that 60,000 mortgages were rubber-stamped in March – a level not seen since 2008.

First time buyers buying before the 24 March cut-off date were able to side-step the 1% levy on homes worth between £125,000 and £250,000 – equating to a saving of between £1,250 and £2,500.

The data supports other recent research which found the number of first time buyer transactions and enquiries increased considerably in the months preceding the end of the stamp duty holiday.

It is also thought that the heavy tax announced in the Budget for multi-million pound homes could have inflated figures.

"The Chancellor's surprise announcement of the 7% super-rate of stamp duty for properties worth more than £2 million meant many high-value transactions were also rushed through on budget day," commented David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services.

Although a relatively busy month, the average house price in England and Wales only increased minimally, up by 0.2% in February to £221,543.

"March's modest price increase indicates that, although transaction numbers rose rapidly last month, the bulk of the activity was for properties below the £250,000 threshold," added Mr Brown.

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