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Is the first time buyer market coming back to life?

In a surprise development it has been revealed that Halifax is offering to pay stamp duty for first time buyers having initially launched a similar scheme with regard to Council tax payments. This move saw rivals such as Abbey reduce the rates charged to buyers with a small deposits and HSBC announced a significant reduction in its headline mortgage rate. Is the first-time buyer market now coming back to life?

While an interesting development in the mortgage market, many observers believe that first-time buyers in particular are being targeted because of problems elsewhere with negative equity. It is well-known that first-time buyers are the life blood of any property market, injecting new capital and new enthusiasm into property investment. By attempting to attract first-time buyers into the fold, UK mortgage providers are in effect investing in the future as the first-time buyers' of today will likely be more active in the property market in the medium to longer term.

Whether UK mortgage providers are responding to pressure from the authorities or actually believe it is time to attack the first-time buyer market is open to debate but thankfully there is some life in this area and potentially more to follow.

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