Mortgages

First-time buyer sales fall to four-year low in 2017: NAEA

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4th December 2017
"Looking to next year it will be interesting to see what impact the stamp duty change had on the market, and if it really does help FTBs get on the ladder."

The proportion of total sales made to first-time buyers on average over the year hit the lowest seen since 2013, according to ARLA and NAEA analysis.

First-time buyers took a 25% market share this year, down from 28% in 2016.

The data shows that overall, demand was higher this year than in 2016, with an average of 380 prospective buyers registered per branch, compared to 365 on average over the course of last year.

Demand spiked in January and February at 425 house-buyers registered per branch, and supply also peaked in February with 44 properties available to buy per branch. Year on year, supply has not changed, averaging at 39 properties available per branch in 2016 and 2017.

February and June saw the highest number of sales agreed, with an average of 11 per branch. On average, the number of sales agreed was up in 2017 – with an average of nine per branch every month, compared to eight in 2016

In 2017, 77% of properties were sold for less than asking price, with just 4% selling for more than the original asking price.

Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark, commented: “2017 has been a busy year for the property market, and the Budget announcement to abolish stamp duty for FTBs has given them some optimism. This year saw an average of 25 per cent of sales to FTBs, the lowest in four years. Looking to next year it will be interesting to see what impact the stamp duty change had on the market, and if it really does help FTBs get on the ladder.

"We still only have a limited supply of housing available and policymakers need to think about how to help others in the chain, such as second steppers and those that would downsize in order to free up more larger homes suitable for families.”

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