Price falls attract first-time buyers

FALLS in house prices are tempting first-time buyers back to the property market, research indicated yesterday.

Around 26 per cent of people who hope to buy their first property during the coming year are first-time buyers, up from a low of 22 per cent in July, according to property website Rightmove.

The group said the small increase in the number of first-time buyers who thought they would be able to get on to the property ladder coincided with a rise in the number of people who think house prices will fall during the coming year.

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A third of first-time buyers now expect the cost of property to be lower in 12 months' time than now, up from only a fifth during the previous quarter.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: "Lower property prices might well strike fear into the hearts of property-owners, but it will be music to the ears of those eager to take their first step onto the property ladder.

More than half of first-time buyers are now between 25 and 34.