First-time house buyer numbers down - House & Home - Property - The Independent

First-time house buyer numbers down

 

First-time buyer sales have slumped to a seven-month low following the withdrawal of a “crucial” stamp duty exemption, estate agents said today.

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) said 17% of sales in May were made to those buying their first home, compared with 24% during the previous month.

Lenders and estate agents reported a rush to complete deals ahead of the deadline for the two-year concession in March, with sales which would have otherwise taken place later in the year being bunched up.

Lenders have been tightening their borrowing criteria amid the weak economy and the eurozone crisis, and borrowers with smaller deposits are expected to have a particularly tough time getting a deal in the coming months.

NAEA president Mark Hayward said: "Sadly, as the NAEA predicted, the Government's removal of the crucial stamp duty holiday for properties priced at £250,000 and under has hit the fragile first-time buyer market hard.

"At what is a very turbulent time for the economy both here and in the eurozone, which has prompted tighter mortgage restrictions from the major banks and placed increased pressure on household finances, the Government should be doing all it can to stimulate housing market activity."

Mr Hayward said it "remains to be seen" whether a "funding for lending" scheme announced by the Treasury and the Bank of England last month will mean house hunters get greater access to cheaper deals.

The share of first-time buyers recorded by the NAEA is the biggest slump since October last year, when first-time buyers made up 16% of the market, well below the pre-credit crunch average of around 40%.

Before last October, the figure had not been as low for more than three years, at the height of the financial crisis in December 2008, when first-time buyers stood at 10% of the market.

The number of house hunters registering at branches across the country also decreased, with 274 per branch in May compared with 294 in April as the seasonal summer slowdown kicked in.

Sales remained stable across the property market for a third month in a row in May, with an average of seven per branch.

Some 66 houses were on the market per branch in May, a slight increase on the 62 seen in April. Recent studies have suggested that house prices will soften further in the coming months as the number of houses being put on the market continues to outstrip the number of potential buyers.

PA

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Programme Test Manager

£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...

Modern Foreign Languages Teacher

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Full time German Supply Teacher...

Project Manager with some Agile experience

£45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...

Data/ MI Analyst

£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week