Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Double the amount of first time buyers


The number of first-time buyers entering the property marker doubled last month, claims the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).
Back in February the NAEA said the proportion of new entrants to the housing market stood at a low of 10.1%, but over March this figure jumped to 22.3%.
The NAEA linked this rise directly to the Chancellor's decision to raise the threshold at which a buyer is forced to pay stamp duty from £60,000 to £120,000 in March’s Budget.
But despite the increase in FTBs, prices remained on hold, with the NAEA reporting that house prices remain less than 0.5% higher than they were at the start of the year.
This market stagnation, coupled with the increase in the number of available properties, has meant that buyers remain in a stronger position than sellers, said the estate agents’ group.
Over the last year the number of properties on the market has doubled, the NAEA said, while at the same time the average number of buyers on estate agents' books has fallen by a fifth.
This has led to the average buyer receiving a 4.5% discount from asking prices, compared with last year when "sellers were able to almost 'name their price' in many areas", the NAEA said.
Richard Hair, president of the NAEA, commented: "Buyers remain the dominant force and are discovering they often have a wide choice of properties to choose from. However, with vendors starting to include realism in their asking prices, sales are back on the up."

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