Stamp duty reforms could already be working for first time buyers

First time buyers may already be finding themselves at an advantage when it comes to getting on the property ladder thanks to the forthcoming stamp duty reforms, according the Home Owners Alliance.

The most recent Home Owners Alliance House Price Watch Index, which tracks changes in several other indexes says that while house prices have increased by 1% on average this month, the price of one and two bedroom properties has remained largely static.

Data from Rightmove, which tends to be the more volatile of the indices, also indicates that the number of instructions for smaller properties have risen 6.6% year on year, the highest rise since 2007.

February’s report goes on to say: “Underlying economic conditions: rising employment, wages and continued low interest rates are expected to sustain strong demand. Initial activity in the New Year suggests that seller enquiries are picking up (up a modest 1.8% year on year uplift in newly marketed properties according to Rightmove). With continued strong demand and supply increasing, early signs in 2016 point to an active year for the housing market.

“There remains a significant gap between demand and supply and upward pressure on house prices is expected to continue. Concerns remain that construction activity will fall short of demand, house prices will rise and eventually reduce affordability.”

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