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First-time buyer property asking prices rise fastest in January

Growth in first-time buyer asking prices is outstripping that of homemovers, according to Rightmove.

According to the online property site, first-time buyer properties were marketed at an average price of £163,251 in January 2014, up 10.5 per cent from £147,738 a year earlier.

Comparatively, sellers of ‘second-stepper’ properties asked for an average £228,642 this month, 7.7 per cent higher than January 2014’s average asking price of £212,295.

Across all property types, the UK average asking price this month reached £273,275, representing an 8.2 per cent jump from £252,565 a year earlier. It is only the third month since January 2014 in which the annual increase has risen above 8 per cent, after May and November last year showed 8.9 per cent and 8.5 per cent increases in asking prices respectively.

On a regional basis, Greater London saw the biggest increase in asking prices, with the average jumping 12.8 per cent from £502,131 to £566,404 between January 2014 and 2015.

The North East region saw the slowest growth in asking prices, rising just 0.8 per cent from £133,983 to £135,055 in the year to January 2015.

Despite signs that the housing market had cooled in the final six months of 2014, Rightmove director and housing market analyst Mile Shipside believes there are already signs that the Chancellor’s reforms to stamp duty are boosting the housing market.

He says: “Early 2015 statistics currently point in the right direction for homemovers, with the Chancellor’s stamp duty Christmas present perhaps being the spur for people making New Years resolutions to get on with moving.

“There are more positive signs of early-bird activity rather than pre-election jitters or economic worries deterring prospective movers. However, we are only a few days into the year and it remains to be seen whether this initial flurry is sustained.”

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