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False boost to the UK property market revealed

It has been revealed that the number of first-time buyers in the UK hit a two year high last December amid the impending repeal of the stamp duty concession which gave buyers the chance to save up to £1,750 on a purchase. Lenders have revealed that nearly 25,000 mortgages were approved for first-time buyers in December 2009 which was 26% up on November. While these figures may be slightly boosted by the time of year, i.e. a traditionally very quiet period for the property market, there is no doubt that some buyers did step into the market to beat the ending of the stamp duty concession.

The total number of loans approved for first-time buyers in the UK hit 198,200 in 2009 which was up 4,500 from the previous year. However, when you appreciate that there were over 357,000 first-time buyer mortgages approved in 2007 the problems for the UK property market are there for all to see. Quite how the market will respond to the return to traditional stamp duty levels remains to be seen but there is no doubt that the small savings available up until the end of 2009 were very much appreciated by first-time buyers.

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