First-time buyers ‘on the up’

The number of first-time buyers increased last month, a new survey has shown.

Data from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) monthly market survey for August revealed that 36 per cent of all house purchasers were first-timers in August, up from 22 per cent in July.

The NAEA said this was one of a number of “positive” aspects to the figures, adding: “This is the sector that often forms the basis of chains and if sustained will lead to a general improvement in the market.”

Other notable facts were that while the number of househunters per agent was down from 292 to 238 and the total of sales per office dropped from nine to eight since July, this was less of a seasonal dip than “feared”, the body noted.

Such figures come after Council of Mortgage Lenders spokesman Bernard Clark recently warned that some first-time buyers may still struggle to get on the ladder.

He noted that prices have fallen, but added that there could still be problems such as a lack of mortgage finance, high deposits and job insecurity that deter some.

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