First time buyers should move fast.

The last few months have seen first time buyers back in the house market with a bit of a vengeance.   After over a year when first time buyers were almost an endangered species many more have taken the plunge recently. Three issues have favoured buyers in this category.  First there has been a ready supply of first time buyer properties, mostly flats, with sellers anxious to sell and willing to do a deal on price.  Secondly the LIFT mortgage programme solved the funding problem for many first timers – with the government though housing associations – effectively providing and interest fee loan for the deposit.  Thirdly the stamp duty “holiday” granted by the chancellor cut the cost of buying flats at the entry level to the market.  All in all for the last several months first timers have had things pretty well there own way. All good things must come to an end as they say and the signs are first timers are not going to enjoy these advantages going forward.  Kirsty Jack senior property manager at Caesar and Howie has noticed prices firming up in the flat market.  “Sellers have quickly reacted to the increase activity in flat sales, with less now desperate to do a deal at any price – in fact some closing dates are even creeping back in with there being more buyers around” On the mortgage and stamp duty issue things are changing a little for the worse.  Sandy McFarlane long time mortgage advisor at Caesar and Howie warns “ I think the ready supply of Lift funds is beginning to run out in some parts of the country – especially in the Lothians.  With that and the Stamp Duty holiday ending in December I would say first time buyers need to move now to take advantage of Lift and not having to pay stamp duty.   These benefits are not going to be around much longer – so first timers need to  move now to make the most of them whilst they last”