First-time buyers make the most of sudden stall in UK house prices

 
Tim Wallace
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London prices are not expected to recover this year (Source: Getty)
First-time buyers snapped up 21,000 houses in February, taking advantage of a short-term blip in house prices, according to estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move.

That is an 11 per cent rise in the number of transactions on the month. The average first-time buyer paid £143,767 for their property, down four per cent on the month. And on average they borrowed £118,687 to fund the purchase, down 3.2 per cent on the month.

However, the rapid nature of the change in the market is clear from the pricing figures – although prices are down on the month, they are still up 0.8 per cent on the year.

London prices are not expected to recover this year – the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) predicts a 3.6 per cent dip in 2015.

But it believes some momentum is creeping back into the market. For the UK overall, the economists have cancelled their earlier prediction of a 0.6 per cent fall, now forecasting a 1.5 per cent rise in prices.

By contrast, London is being hit by the potential impact of new policies on expensive homes.

“A potential mansion tax, reduced overseas interest and hefty new stamp duty rates have hit demand for high value property,” said CEBR economist Nina Skero.

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