The number of people buying their first home in December reached its highest point in 15 years as a result of the favourable conditions currently available to first-time buyers.
New figures from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) show first-time buyers were responsible for 32 per cent of property purchases in the final month of 2016, up by ten per cent on the previous month and the highest number in any December since 2001.
Kevin Shaw, national sales director at property specialist Leaders, says: “The combination of low-cost mortgages and a period of stability in house prices has made it more affordable for people to get on the ladder than it has been for some time.
“It is fantastic to see so many people in a position to buy their first home. In fact, first-time buyers returning to the market in such large numbers is great news for everybody, including those who already own their home and are looking to sell and move up the ladder.”
Despite the rising number of first-time buyers, there was still a fall in the amount of property sales agreed in December. The NAEA study also found there was a 12 per cent month-on-month increase in the average number of people registering as buyers with estate agents.
Kevin explains: “More buyers but fewer sales agreed underlines the fact that only a lack of supply is holding the market back right now. Pent-up demand remains, giving sellers an opportunity to take advantage of less competition to get a great price.
“I believe a further benefit of the rise in first-time buyers will be a boost to confidence levels in the market and this should encourage more sellers to put their homes on the market over the coming months.
“With such high demand, sellers have nothing to lose by making their property available as they can feel sure of achieving a great selling price.”
For advice on how to make the most of selling a property please contact your local Leaders branch.