Figures released for December show that first time buyers rushed to complete their mortgage before the stamp duty holiday ended.

According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), the figure for mortgages granted for first time buyers in December was 24,900 – the highest figure for two years. This was 26% higher than November’s figures.

Until 1st January this year, the stamp duty level had been increased so no stamp duty was payable on properties up to £175,000. However, this has now reverted back so the 1% stamp duty is now payable once again on properties over £125,000.

Looking back at 2009 as a whole, the CML said the figures were

very weak overall

Repossession figures for 2009 were lower than the original 48,000 predicted at just 46,000 but were still the worst figures for the past decade. Yet the number of repossessions for 2009 is still lower than the number of repossessions from the housing crash in the nineties.

It is hoped that 2010 will be much better for the housing market, and figures released by the Halifax seem to support this view showing that house prices increased in January for the seventh consecutive month

Mortgage advisors remain busy with remortgages from those wanting to find a mortgage deal that will see them through the next few years in case of an interest rate rise and those looking to get onto the property ladder as house prices recover.

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