Latest changes to stamp duty helping first time buyers
The National Association of Estate Agents has reports that sales to first time buyers were up in March as a result of the changes to stamp duty increase and expectations are this will increase.
28% of sales in March were to first time buyers up 4% on February.
March also saw an increase in the number of properties per branch listed for sale with the average per branch now 54 in March compared to 35 in February. This may be as a result of landlords selling properties in preparation for the impact of the tax changes. Demand for property has also dropped with the number of registered house hunters registered at agents dropping from 463 in February to 417 in March.
The new 3% stamp duty on buy-to-let investors has seen many landlords stop investing and thus reducing competition for first time buyers.
“The last few months FTB’s have had to compete with landlords for the same properties and those landlords have really pushed hard to complete ahead of the rise in stamp duty. Now, in theory things should get easier for FTBs as we have seen with a slight increase in sales this month – as those seeking to buy to let will tail off” says Mark Hayward, managing director of the NAEA.
“However in reality, it’s unlikely in the long term that FTB’s will notice a huge difference, as prices remain high and housing is in short supply. Government needs to significantly increase the number of homes that are being built in this country to really make a difference to those that are struggling to get on the housing ladder.”