Stamp duty cut tempts FTBs out for Easter

Nia Williams

April 1, 2010

In the week immediately following the Budget, moneysupermarket saw a 15% jump in the number of prospective first-time buyers visiting its mortgage comparison channel.

moneysupermarket.com is also tracking an improving trend in mortgage availability for first time buyers, after the lows of last year. This year there has been a 17% increase in the number of 90% mortgages available and the number of 80% loans available is up by a third. The average rate for first time buyers is 4.79%.

In addition, a poll of moneysupermarket.com customers shows that more than three in four (76%) believe it’s fair that the abolition of stamp duty only applies to those buying their first property. However, 18% recognise it’s still going to be difficult to buy a property as mortgages are hard to obtain.

Hannah-Mercedes Skenfield, mortgage channel manager at moneysupermarket.com, said: “There has been much debate over the past week as to what impact Darling’s measures will have on the housing market, and while the jury’s still out on that one, it’s clear that those most affected have welcomed it if numbers to our site are anything to go by. As we approach one of the busiest weekends of the year for house-hunting, the first-time buyer could well be back out after months of hibernation.

“Whilst the majority of our users say the stamp duty cut is a good thing, and recognise that people need help to buy their first home, the reality is that until LTVs and corresponding loan rates improve, the situation remains largely the same. Without a large deposit, you’ll find yourself on a higher rate and that’s if you can get a mortgage at all. It will be interesting to see over the long-term what impact this has.”

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