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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

First-time buyer sales hit post-crisis high

The number of first-time buyer sales rose nearly 5% in July to hit the highest figure since the recession.

There were 29,700 first-time buyer sales in the month, the highest number since 35,300 in August 2007.

Sales rose 4.9% month-on-month as buyers rushed to get on the ladder ahead of a base rate rise, and before the best deals are withdrawn, according to the latest First Time Buyer Tracker from Your Move and Reeds Rains.

The research also shows that the average first-time buyer deposit rose 10% over the last year to £27,975, equivalent to 72% of average yearly income.

That compares to 66.2% one year ago.

First-time buyers are paying an average purchase price of £161,985 in July, a rise of 8.9% year-on-year.

Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: “First-time buyers are experiencing a summer of white-hot activity, unimpeded by rising deposit costs.

“The post-General Election bounce has given way to a more stable optimism, as first-time buyers realise that the property market is at no immediate risk of being tampered with by the Government.

“Rather, incentives attractive to first-time buyers – such as the Help to Buy scheme – are running along steadily, while further low-cost housing development is being encouraged to entice more people onto the ladder."

Gill said first-time buyers were also motivated by concerns that the Bank of England may hike rates sooner rather than later.

"The thought of months of rock-bottom mortgage rates being brought to an end is encouraging many wavering first-time buyers to jump on the property ladder before repayment costs shoot up.

“Real wages have been growing too, and first-time buyers are able to shoulder the short-term burden of a slightly higher deposit to spare the risk of losing out on a good mortgage deal.”

Gill added: “So long as the economy continues on its upward trajectory and the aspiration for home-ownership remains strong, property prices can only increase.”

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