Market for first time buyers boosted despite stamp duty

HOUSE purchases by new owners rose again in March, according to data released yesterday, with first time buyers now making up 45 per cent of purchases.

The housing market saw a 20.1 per cent bounce in the number of first time buyers, with a 10.6 per cent increase in the number of people moving house, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said.

The CML’s data added to news from earlier this week, when the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reported the first rise in national house prices for three years, prompted by the funding for lending and Help to Buy schemes.

However overall mortgage approvals dipped on the year, as the market was boosted in March 2012 by the expiry of the stamp duty holiday.

And economist Howard Archer from IHS Global Insight warned government policies aimed at boosting the market will only have a gradual impact.

“Low earnings growth and still relatively low and fragile consumer confidence argues against a marked rise in house prices for some time to com,” he said.