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Sunday 03rd of August 2008
July 24, 2008

First-time buyers return to property market


by Gill Montia
First-time buyers return to property market

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has reported that first-time buyers are making a tentative return to the housing market.

In a survey of its members, the NAEA found that in June first-time buyer sales represented 11.8% of the housing market as compared with 9.8% a year earlier and up from 10.6% in May 2008.

NAEA president, Chris Brown, believes that this is a good time for first-time buyers who have adequate funds in place to make a purchase.

According to Mr Brown, while potential purchasers generally remain very cautious those courageous enough to jump do so because they realise they might benefit from current market conditions.

However, this enthusiasm if offset by the fact that many would-be homeowners need a sizeable deposit to obtain a mortgage that is affordable, as lenders to continue to offer their best deals to those with 25% of the purchase price to invest in a home.

In addition, mortgage fees and charges have risen steeply in the past 12 months.

Calls for the Government to help first-time buyers by increasing the stamp duty threshold continue but latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs show that the number of house sales completed in June fell by 45% year-on-year.

The resulting loss in revenue is unlikely to encourage ministers to make the change.

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