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Are first time buyers finally returning to the market?

Research by the National Association of Estate Agents shows that 22.5 per cent of buyers are FTBs, up from 10 per cent in December and 14.5 per cent in January 2008.

According to the NAEA this is "highly significant" because it shows an increase in consumer confidence because it views FTBs as the "bedrock of a healthy housing market".

"During the boom years we saw the number of FTBs as a proportion of buyers rise as high as 37 per cent, and I believe that an average of 25 per cent is indicative of a healthy and confident market," says Peter Bolton-King, CEO of the NAEA.

"While the figure of 22.5 per cent is definitely not a sign that the housing sector is out of the woods yet, it does suggest that those infamous green shoots of recovery may not be as far off as first thought."


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