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      First-Time Buyers Increase Market Share To 29%

      First-time buyer sales rose to 29% in February, from 27% in January, as the Chancellor's stamp duty relief begins to have "the desired effect", according to the NAEA.

      This is an increase from the 24% market share recorded in 2016 and 22% seen in 2017.

      First-time buyer numbers have risen as the total number of prospective house-hunters fell by 16% in February and 28% year-on-year.

      In line with demand, the number of properties available for sale per branch dropped from 36 in January to 35 in February.

      74% of properties sold for less than the original asking price in February, with only 4% selling for more than the asking price

      However the rate of properties which sold at asking price stood at 22% – the highest level since June 2016, when 26% of properties went for asking price.

      Mark Hayward, chief executive at NAEA Propertymark said: “Since the Chancellor cut stamp duty for first-time buyers, there have been a good level of sales to the group, but they haven’t rocketed.

      "As we said in last month’s housing report, our members have noticed first-time buyers holding off on making purchases since the rule was introduced – typically outside of London – opting instead to save for longer to maximise the full stamp duty relief.

      "This may be one reason why sales are up but not as high as we might expect; the other reason is that the cost of buying is still very high, and first-time buyers are still finding it difficult to save for their deposit.

      "As the cost of living continues to rise – with consumer price inflation standing at 2.5% in February – we still have a long way to go to make the dream of owning a home accessible to all, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.”

      Source - Financial Reporter 26/3/18

      Categories: FTB

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