The number of first-time buyers registering with estate agents jumped 16 per cent in January, as prospective buyers look to take advantage of stamp duty cuts and more stable house prices.
According to estate agents Haart the number of first-time buyer registrations was 16 per cent higher in December, and 10 per higher year-on-year.
Although most house price indices show a slowdown in the property market Haart said prices in England and Wales in January fell 0.5 per cent on the month and by 3.4 per cent on the year.
However the price of property bought by first-time buyers has bucked this trend, increasing 5.6 per cent on December and 2.8 per cent year-on-year.
According to Haart the average house price now sits at £228,313.
It isn’t just first-time buyer registrations that are on the increase.
The survey shows the number of new buyer registrations increased in January by 11.2 per cent, compared to the previous month. However this was 3.1 per cent down on the same month last year.
While buyer demand is up, the number of properties coming onto the market has fallen by 2.3 per cent on the month, and is 18 per cent down year-on-year.
Haart says that in January there were 11 buyers chasing every property across England and Wales, which will provide further support for prices in 2018.
Despite demand outstripping supply the number of transactions has decreased, although the number of viewings has increased – with buyers opting to view more properties before putting in an offer.
Haart’s chief executive Paul Smith says: “First-time buyers jumped at the Government’s offer of a stamp duty cut in January, and came back to the market in a big way.”
He added that these figures disguised significant regional variation.
“London is still moving at a slower than normal pace, but other parts of the UK are booming.”
Smith says house prices in Manchester jumped 10 per cent over the past year and in Warwickshire house price growth is sitting at around 7 per cent.
He adds: “We need to get used to the re-calibrated picture of price growth across the UK, focus on the positives and not get bogged down with how the market is performing on Westminster’s doorstep.”
This survey also found that the number of tenants entering the lettings market has risen 11.2 per cent on the month, but is down 6.8 per cent year-one year.
In London this downturn is particularly marked, with demand falling 13.1 per cent on the month, and a sharp 33.1 per cent decline on the year.
Haart found that average rents were up by 0.9 per cent.
The number of prospective buy-to-let landlords has also fallen 2.1 per cent since December, but numbers are 1.1 per cent higher than this time last year.
In London the number of landlords registering with estate agents rose 0.1 per cent on the month, but was down 8 per cent year-on-year.