In December 2009 the number of loans to first time buyers were at a two year high, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.  People were buying properties in the price range £125,000 to £175,000 before the stamp duty concession expired.  There were 24,900 loans to first time buyers, the highest number since November 2007.   The value of these mortgages was £2.9 billion.

From January 2010 stamp duty is charged on houses sold for more than £125,000-the lowest band is 1%.

It remains to be seen how the market will develop in 2010, both for property buyers and tenants.  According to the Association of Residential Letting Agents the surplus of rental property is reducing, while demand is rising.  At least, that is the picture painted by a survey they did at the end of 2009.  This research may be good news for buy to let landlords.  It shows that in the final quarter of 2009 an average of 41% of agents surveyed said they had more tenants than properties to rent, up from 24% in the previous quarter.

Surveys and statistics usually measure what was happening a while ago.  Does anyone have news of the market for buy to let properties in their own areas?

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