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First time buyers have until March to apply
First time buyers will need to hurry if they want to be eligible for the stamp duty amnesty that will come to an end in March. Commentators say that the withdrawal of the amnesty on stamp duty for first-time buyers has resulted in a last minute increase in transactions as buyers rush to complete before the deadline for any new first time buyer applications. There was an increase in sales from 21 per cent to 23 per cent in the months from December to January, which resulted in the third monthly rise in a row.
The stamp duty holiday has been going for two-year holiday and currently the stamp duty threshold for first-time buyers is for properties priced up to £250,000. The NAEA said that the amnesty was a "key factor" for those attempting to purchase a property and appealed to the Government to extend the term to aid the fragile housing market.
There were around 64,000 home sales in the UK in January 2012 representing the highest figure for the first month of the year since January 2008. A spokesman for the Council of Mortgage Lenders said that first-time buyers rushing to complete deals had been helping to boost mortgage lending to 10per cent higher than in January2011.
The NAEA's report also showed that the number of house hunters registering decreased slightly, with 260 per branch in January compared with 294 in December. The NAEA said reluctant sellers had raised concerns about the economic outlook and also mentioned the difficulty they had in obtaining a value for money mortgage.
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