The Government's concession for first-time buyers to avoid paying Stamp Duty when purchasing properties under £250,000 is due to expire at the end of March this year. This incentive could potentially save them a considerable about of money and offer a helping hand when trying to secure mortgages to get on to the property ladder for the first time.
Paul Smee, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) director general, says: "Despite the fall in lending in October, it is possible that we will see signs of increased activity by first-time buyers in the early months of , as we approach the end of the Government's Stamp Duty concession."
It is more difficult than ever for those renting to be able to afford to save a deposit sufficient enough to purchase, with first-time buyers' mortgage deposit requirements remaining stable in recent months at an average of 20%. Once a deposit is saved however, buying your own home is on average £100 per month cheaper than renting.
Typically, monthly interest payments have continued to fall for first-time buyers and now only 12.3% of income is used to service the interest on a mortgage - the lowest level since January 2004, according to the CML.
So, with the months flying past, will first-time buyers have the time or money to saturate the marketplace and take advantage of this incentive?