First time buyers continue to lose out

The number of houses available for sale increased from 69 per branch in August to 72 in September while the number of sales remained the same at 7 per branch on average.

The percentage of sales made to first time buyers dropped from 21 per cent in August to 20 per cent in September, suggesting that this group continues to encounter difficulty in obtaining a mortgage.

NAEA President Michael Jones said: “It is good to see that sales have remained consistent but the drop in the number of first time buyers is still a concern.

“Assisting the first time buyers market is imperative if we are to strengthen the housing industry in this country. This means that the banks have to become less restrictive in their lending policies.

“Plans by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to introduce tougher measures on mortgages are likely to serve only to restrict this part of the market further, and we would urge them to refrain from doing so.”

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