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Return of the first-time buyer

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16/01/2006

After a period when first-time homebuyers were rarer than hens’ teeth, a recent survey has detected their reappearance on the sceneFirst-time homebuyer interest in the housing market is reawakening, according to a recent survey conducted by propertyfinder.com. In September 2005, around 25% of those searching for property classed themselves as first-timers, but this proportion had risen steadily to 37% by the start of 2006.

Jim Buckle, chief executive officer of propertyfinder.com, said: “The fact that more first-time buyers returning to search for property is a very healthy sign of balance returning to the housing market. The numbers are still below the long-run average – which stands at 46% of the market – but it is highly encouraging to see more people gaining the confidence to take their first step on to the housing ladder.”

Overall confidence in the outlook for the housing market edged up again in December, taking optimism on the market back to a level not seen since summer 2004. About 60% of the respondents to the survey expect prices to rise in the region of 1.5% in the next 12 months.

Buckle concluded: “There is no reason to expect a return to the boom days for the housing market, but we don’t see any need to fear a bust either. The combination of strong confidence and rising numbers of first-time buyers should enable transactions to continue their recovery. For the first time in years, we can look forward to a rational, steady housing market.”

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