Buyer numbers ‘to jump before year ends’

There will be a surge of first-time buyers keen to complete their mortgage applications and house purchases before the end of the year, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has said.

Spokesman for the NAEA Trevor Kent said this will happen because of the switch in the lowest threshold for stamp duty back to £125,000 from £175,000 on January 1st.

He noted that those who wish to achieve this will have to move fast, as December 23rd is the date most solicitors will shut up shop for the Christmas and New Year period.

However, he stated: “It is doable, it’s getting a bit tight but if you’ve already made your offer and you’ve already put it in your solicitor’s hands, then it’s most certainly doable.”

Mr Kent’s comments come as Winkworths Estate Agency said the total number of first-time buyers has risen in 2009.

It said the share of the market is now 32 per cent, compared with 19 per cent last year.

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