Stamp duty changes encourage housebuyers
Figures, released by the National Association of Estate Agents, found that on average members welcomed 360 buyers to their branch during December.
It was the highest number for the final month of the year since 2004.
The NAEA – the largest professional body of its kind in the UK – has also reported a flurry of interest in properties priced between £251,000 and £925,000.
This is the band where George Osborne’s stamp duty changes are likely to generate the highest saving.
Mark Hayward, managing director of the NAEA, said that last month’s figures bucked the traditional end-of-year slump.
“It would seem prospective home buyers have been left feeling encouraged [by the stamp duty reforms], while agents have also reported activity in the middle price mark picking up,” he told The Guardian.
“The changes are obviously in the beginning stages of giving the market the boost it needs, making buying more affordable for many.”
The figures also showed that the changes have benefited first-time buyers, with a slight increase in those who were able to get their foot on the property ladder.
But there is still a long way to go, with only one in ten 16 to 24-year-olds presently able to afford their own home.
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