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Halifax has released figures showing that 95% of first-time buyers were not eligible to pay stamp duty tax due to the increase of the stamp duty threshold for first-time buyers. The new initiative was announced in March and increased from £125,000 to £250,000. Those who have received the most beneficial effect from this are first-time buyers living in the South East of the country.

There has now been a vast improvement with regards to the affordability of property. When the property market was at its peak in 2007, it was estimated that a meagre 6% of areas were actually affordable to buy in.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, commented: “The ‘noughties’ were a difficult period for many looking to get onto the property ladder. The substantial rise in house prices over much of the decade prevented many potential first time buyers from entering the market, however, affordability has improved significantly over the past three years.”

There is now a feeling of optimism by potential first-time buyers surrounding the subject of mortgages. It has been speculated that property prices will stay constant or even decrease fractionally and interest rates will continue to be at a low level. It looks like a good year for first-time buyers!