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Estate agents predict first-time buyers face a tough five years

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  • 04/06/2015
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Estate agents predict first-time buyers face a tough five years
Estate agents are predicting a tough time ahead for first-time buyers as house prices continue to rise, a survey by the National Association of Estate Agents reveals.

Despite a slight increase in sales to first-time buyers in April to 26% of total sales, up from 22% in March, more than 90% of agents surveyed said they did not expect the first-time buyer market to substantially increase over the next five years.

Some 55% of agents said they thought house price rises during this time would push first-time buyers out of the market.

Figures from the Halifax House Price Index revealed a 2% rise in house prices in the three months to May pushing up the value of the average home to £196,000.

But the rate of quarterly growth slowed for the second successive month, down from a rise of 2.2% in the three months to April and a 2.6% rise in the three months to March.

Demand for homes in the run-up to the election remained similar through the months of March and April.

In March, 343 househunters were registered per branch with 344 registered buyers per branch in April. Supply between the months of March and April dipped slightly from 48 houses available per NAEA member branch to 43 in April.

Managing director of the NAEA Mark Hayward said house price rises and tighter lending criteria made buying a home ‘notoriously tough for first-time buyers’.

He added: “Whilst this month’s figures are positive and a step in the right direction, I’d like to think that with the help of 200,000 new starter homes and the Help to Buy ISA, first-time buyers will be given even more help to get their foot on the ladder; however these things may take time to come to fruition.”

A cabinet housing taskforce met for the first time this week to discuss the issue of a lack of supply of homes. Communities secretary Greg Clark urged government departments to make sites which were lying idle available for house building.

He wants to see government departments free up land to build 150,000 by 2020.

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