Stamp Duty holiday sees buyers increase

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The end of Stamp Duty Relief on properties up to £250,000 helped drive up mortgage applications from first time buyers during the first quarter of 2012, according to Haart.

New figures from the independent estate agents show that first time buyers accounted for 35.9 per cent of all mortgage applications between January and March, peaking at 39.4 per cent in February.

What’s more, more than 50 per cent of first time buyer applicants bought with a deposit of 15 per cent or less, whilst the average size of deposit stood at £38,860.

This varied a lot by region, with the average in South Wales of £18,018 contrasting sharply with that of the South East, where it was £59,634. It comes as the Council of Mortgage Lenders revealed that gross mortgage lending during March was up 30 per cent on February to £13.4bn.

Haart employs a network of mortgage advisors based throughout its branch network backed by a team of support staff at the company’s national headquarters. The company currently processes up to 500 mortgage applications per week.

David Miles, managing director of Haart Financial Services, said: “The end of Stamp Duty Relief certainly caused something of a rush among first time buyers eager to complete before the end of the holiday.

“However, those who were predicting that first time buyers would all but disappear afterwards appear wrong with applications levels in April still strong.

“Whilst the overall conditions in the mortgage market remain challenging, lenders have money to lend.

“So whether customers are looking to buy for the first time, or moving to a new home, or investing in property on a buy to let basis, there are solutions available to make that happen.”