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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

First-time buyer sales soar to six-year high

House sales to first time buyers accounted for nearly a third of total sales in October, the highest proportion since August 2009.

The number of properties available to buy at each estate agent branch rose by 16% as supply eased.

The October Housing Market Report from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) also showed the number of house-hunters searching for properties dropped for the fourth month running.

In October, there was an average of nine sales made per estate agent branch in total, with 31% to first-time buyers.

This compares to 29% in September and just 20% in August.

NAEA managing director Mark Hayward said: “It’s really promising that, for the second month running, the number of sales being made to first-time buyers has risen.

“Competitive mortgage products and the increasing pressure of an interest rate rise could be encouraging first steppers to take the plunge, as well as the dwindling supply of rental housing stock – putting pressure on renters to buy.”

The supply of available housing increased by 16% from 37 in September to 43 in October. Demand for property dropped slightly from an average 342 house-hunters per branch in to 336.

Hayward said: “What we’re seeing is a seasonal uplift. Those selling their homes are keen to push through sales before Christmas.

“The only way we can attempt to repair the market is simply by building more houses.”

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