According to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), residential conveyancing solicitors saw an increase in first-time home buyers in January 2012 – with 23 percent of sales going to people eager to get their feet on the property ladder.
The number of first-time home buyers has not been seen at this level since May 2011.
The NAEA attribute this to the ‘holiday’ on stamp duty, which is coming to an end this March. During this period the tax threshold for first-time buyers had been increased from £125,000 to £250,000, which made it easier for people to get on the property ladder.
First-time house buyers are obviously taking notice of the deadline and trying to buy their home from conveyancing solicitors before time runs out.
Wendy Evans-Scott, NAEA president, urged the government to extend the amnesty on stamp duty.
She said, “First-time buyers seem to be making the most of the stamp duty holiday before it comes to an end in March. The NAEA and other property specialists campaigned hard for the Government to introduce the tax exemption to support first-time buyers, and these latest figures certainly suggest that stamp duty is a key factor for those on tight budgets purchasing their first home.
“We are deeply disappointed that ministers have axed this support for a crucial part of the housing market which has benefited so many house-hunters in getting on to the property ladder.”
The NAEA’s January report also revealed, despite the increase in sales, the number of registered house hunters decreased slightly, with an average of 260 people per branch.
Supply levels also dipped to their lowest point in 19 years, with an average of 60 properties available in each estate agency.
If you want to make the most of lower-level stamp duty, you can find out more about Healys’ residential conveyancing solicitor services here.