First-time buyers make up a third of february purchases
Nearly a third (30%) of total house sales in February were made to first-time buyers, according to data from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).
The NAEA’s February Housing Market Report said first-time buyers represented the highest proportion of sales since September 2014. Sales to first-time buyers have not climbed higher than 30% since records began in 2009.
Findings in February also showed that demand for property was up, with 366 house hunters registered per NAEA member branch, up from 353 in January. However, supply is down with 43 properties for sale per branch compared to 44 in January.
The total number of sales agreed in February remained the same as previous months, with eight house sales going through per NAEA member branch.
Mark Hayward, NAEA managing director, said: “It’s clear from the findings in the report that things are starting to ease for first-time buyers, which could be down to reduced property prices or more accessible funding, especially following December’s Stamp Duty reforms.
“We will all be waiting with bated breath to see if the first-time buyer figures increase following the new Help to Buy ISA, and whether we see real momentum in the market. It still remains notoriously hard to get cut-through in the property market, especially for first time buyers, so any green shoots are encouraging.”
Looking ahead to the general election, almost half (46%) of NAEA member agents have seen the market cooling in the lead up with more than a quarter (27%) of agents thinking the general election will have the biggest impact on the housing market this year.
Nearly half (45%) of agents think the Conservative’s pledge to build 200,000 more homes will have the best impact on the housing market. On the downside, 57% of agents think Labour’s proposed “mansion tax” will have a negative impact on the housing market.