Estate agency records surge in first-time buyers

At the same time, sales rose 23.4%, the number of properties listed on haart’s books went up 12.3%, while the average price sold increased by 3.3% to £267,550.

Russell Jervis, haart Managing Director, said: "The haart London Index uses real-time information to give us an accurate picture of what is happening and whilst we have seen an amazing rise in sales, up 23.4% on top of the previous month’s increase of 10.3%, it is really the first-time buyer figure that is quite astounding.

"Because prices have now bottomed out and are starting to rise again, first-time buyers can see this is now the best time for them to buy a property, taking advantage of the low prices and improved liquidity in the mortgage market. In many areas, it is now cheaper to buy than rent."

Sellers who were previously afraid to put their properties on the market fearing that prices were still falling are now seizing the opportunity to sell – with the numbers listed up an eighth.

But more sellers are needed to meet demand – particularly from first-time buyers looking for smaller properties.

"However, there are still many first-time buyers faced with severe borrowing constraints," Jervis said, "and we would urge mortgage lenders to increase their lending to allow more young people to get a foot on the ladder."

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