Thursday, April 19, 2012
Demand for property fuelled
by first time buyers, but sellers cautious
Download NAEA March 2012 Report
Demand from the important first time buyer market hit a
ten-month high in March, according to the latest figures from the
National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).
The association's monthly housing market report found that the
percentage of sales being made to first time buyers increased from
23 per cent in February to 24 per cent in March. It last reached
this level in May 2011.
The report also found that on average, estate agents branches
had 297 house-hunters registered per branch in March compared with
293 in February.
Sales levels were consistent with February, with branches
selling seven properties on average. Anecdotal evidence from NAEA
agents suggests that the increase in interest from first time
buyers in the last weeks of the Stamp Duty Holiday helped to
support this figure.
Wendy Evans-Scott, President of the NAEA, said: "As our member
agents predicted, the termination of the Stamp Duty Holiday helped
to fuel a last minute rush from people hoping to escape this tax on
"It is clear that significant demand existed for this important
tax break for those seeking to buy their first home. In light of
these new figures, the Government's decision to remove such vital
financial support for what is an extremely fragile part of the
housing market seems short-sighted."
However the number of registered sellers fell slightly in March,
despite recent evidence that people asking a sensible price for
their property are able to make a sale. The average branch had 61
properties on its books, compared to 63 in February.
Wendy Evans-Scott continued: "The slight drop in reported supply
levels suggests some caution amongst sellers, who were waiting
until the full facts of the Budget were established and how that
might affect house prices. In addition, the recent move by some
major lenders to severely limit the availability of interest-only
mortgages is no doubt dampening the levels of supply in the