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January surge in first-time buyers

According to estate agents Haart the number of first-time buyer registrations rose by 16.4% monthly and by 10% annually in January.

Most house price indices have been showing a slowdown in property prices, and Haart said prices in England and Wales in January fell 0.5% on the month and by 3.4% on the year.

However, the price of property bought by first-time buyers has bucked this trend, increasing 5.6% on December and 2.8% year-on-year.

According to Haart the average house price now sits at £228,313. Average purchase prices for first-time buyers rose by 2.8% monthly, but the average amount paid of a deposit fell by 1%.

New buyer demand for homes rose by 11.2% on the month as house prices across England and Wales fell by 0.5% and by 3.4% annually.

Overall, the number of new buyers entering the market has risen by 10.2% on the month, but is down by 7.4% on the year.

The number of properties coming onto the market has fallen by 2.3% on the month, and is down by 18% on the year.

Paul Smith, CEO of Haart, commented:

“First-time buyers jumped at the Government’s offer of a stamp duty cut in January, and came back to the market in a big way.”

He added that the recent figures disguise significant regional variation.

“London is still moving at a slower than normal pace, but other parts of the UK are booming.”

Smith said house prices in Manchester jumped 10% over the past year and in Warwickshire house price growth is sitting at around 7%. 

He added:

“We need to get used to the re-calibrated picture of price growth across the UK, focus on the positives and not get bogged down with how the market is performing on Westminster’s doorstep.”

This survey also found that the number of tenants entering the lettings market has risen 11.2% on the month, but is down 6.8% year-one year.

In London this downturn is particularly marked, with demand falling 13.1% on the month, and a sharp 33.1% decline on the year.

The number of prospective buy to let landlords has also fallen 2.1% since December, but numbers are 1.1% higher than this time last year.

In London the number of landlords registering with estate agents rose 0.1% on the month, but was down 8% year-on-year.

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