First time buyers fuel housing boom

16 February 2004
Housing experts have released figures showing that the UK property market is still booming, as an influx of first-time buyers climbed on the ladder in January.

The National Association of Estate Agents has revealed that January saw the highest number of buyers on estate agents' books for six months and first-time buyers made a welcome return, making up 16 per cent of purchases last month.

The proportion of first-time purchasers reached an all-time low of 6.2 per cent in November 2003. First-time buyers are believed to drive the housing market, but rapid price rises in the last few years have meant many have been unable to afford a home.

Melfyn Williams, NAEA president, said: "Estate agents across the country have reported brisk business following the seasonal break. Transactions, instructions and sales are all up, and people are still buying and moving.

"The steadying of prices over recent months is good news for the market and in line with our predictions for the year."

Both the NAEA and lenders are forecasting steady, single-figure average rises in house prices for 2004, with some predicting a static market in the south as the market cools.

First time buyers fuel housing boom

Highest number of first time buyers for half a year boost January house sales.

Housing experts have released figures showing that the UK property market is still booming, as an influx of first-time buyers climbed on the ladder in January.

The National Association of Estate Agents has revealed that January saw the highest number of buyers on estate agents' books for six months and first-time buyers made a welcome return, making up 16 per cent of purchases last month.

The proportion of first-time purchasers reached an all-time low of 6.2 per cent in November 2003. First-time buyers are believed to drive the housing market, but rapid price rises in the last few years have meant many have been unable to afford a home.

Melfyn Williams, NAEA president, said: "Estate agents across the country have reported brisk business following the seasonal break. Transactions, instructions and sales are all up, and people are still buying and moving.

"The steadying of prices over recent months is good news for the market and in line with our predictions for the year."

Both the NAEA and lenders are forecasting steady, single-figure average rises in house prices for 2004, with some predicting a static market in the south as the market cools.