Monday 20 September 2021 11:12 am

London property: First-time buyers make a comeback

Nearly three in every ten home sales went to first-time buyers last month, the highest proportion in over a year, according to new data from various large estate agents.

It marks the highest percentage since June 2020, when 29 per cent sales went to people getting on the property ladder, according to estate agents’ body Propertymark.

It was the strongest August for sales to first-time buyers since 2016, when the percentage was also 28 per cent.

There have been signs of the housing market becoming less frenzied after a stamp duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland was tapered from July.

Many mortgage lenders have also reintroduced low-deposit mortgages in recent months, after many such deals disappeared last year in the uncertain economy.

The figures also suggest that competition for homes remains strong amid a lack of supply.

Across the UK

Across the UK housing market, more than a third (37 per cent) of properties sold for more than the original asking price in August, up from 31 per cent in July.

In August 2020, just 13 per cent of homes sold over the asking price.

The average number of properties available per member branch stood at 23 in August, down from 28 per branch in July.

This means there is an average of 19 buyers chasing every available property on the market, Propertymark said.

Chief executive Nathan Emerson said: “This month’s report shows an enduring appetite amongst buyers, including the ongoing wave of new buyers securing their first homes.

“Lifestyle changes are still prevalent, and buyers are now looking to a future which is very different from the one they envisioned two years ago.

“The search for green space, home offices and more flexible living is a trend that is unlikely to see demand diminish before the new year.”

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