Subdued asking prices provide opportunity for first-time buyers
The average asking price now stands at £307,245, up from £304,061 in September, according to Rightmove.
The slowest sector was properties with two bedrooms or fewer, with a 0.1% monthly price fall as a result of less buy-to-let investor activity, giving first-time buyers an opportunity this autumn.
Mortgage approvals for new buy-to-let purchases were down by 14% compared to a year ago and down by 53% compared to three years ago as the more punitive tax regime has taken effect.
First-time buyers helped to fill some of the gap left by lower buy-to-let activity with their year-on-year mortgage approvals up by 1%
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “With the government using the tax system to try and help first-time buyers while deterring out-of-favour landlords, prices in this sector have been subdued as intended. That gives aspiring first-time buyers an autumn opportunity to negotiate a favourable deal.”
Robert Lazarus, managing director of sales at Paramount Properties in North West London, said: “There’s a better opportunity for first-time buyers coming in to the market at the minute compared to a couple of years ago, especially if they’re looking for a one bed flat.
“Before the additional stamp duty on second homes came in we were selling 20% of these flats to landlords which was driving prices up, and now we’re selling less than 5% of them to landlords, giving first-time buyers the first pick of new stock that comes on.”