First time buyers drop out of market

Nia Williams

December 18, 2009

The monthly market survey of the NAEA members found that in November, only 19% of registered buyers were FTBs, the lowest since December 2008 when levels plummeted to 11%.

This figure pales in comparison to six months ago when 43% of the market was made up of FTBs.

President of the NAEA Gary Smith said: “The decline in the first time buyer segment is exactly what the NAEA anticipated and warned the Government about some months ago.

“Any tax holidays result in a distortion in the market and in the case of Stamp Duty needed to carefully managed and phased out rather than falling of a cliff. Unfortunately as first time buyers often form the foundation of selling chains there could be repercussion throughout the sector.”

On a much more positive note, given the usually seasonal lull the number of sales remained steady in November with an average of eight sales made per branch. While the average number of properties available for sale per branch increased slightly from 57 in October to 58 in November.

Gary Smith added: “It is encouraging to see that the market is in a stronger and more stable position than it was twelve months ago. To sustain these improvements, the Government should put more pressure on banks to ensure lending is available. “

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