Demand from first-time buyers nudged up in March, according to the NAEA in a report published today. But it said that sellers remained cautious, with 61 properties on the average branch’s books – down from 63 in February.
The association’s monthly housing market report found that the proportion of sales being made to first-time buyers increased from 23% in February to 24% in March. It last reached this level in May 2011.
The report also found that on average, estate agent branches had 297 house-hunters registered per branch in March compared with 293 in February.
Sales levels were consistent with February, with branches selling seven properties on average.
Wendy Evans-Scott, president of the NAEA, said: “As our member agents predicted, the termination of the Stamp Duty holiday helped to fuel a last-minute rush from people hoping to escape this tax on aspiration.
“It is clear that significant demand existed for this important tax break for those seeking to buy their first home. In light of these new figures, the Government’s decision to remove such vital financial support for what is an extremely fragile part of the housing market seems short-sighted.”