12 Feb

First-time buyers 'should focus on price'

First-time buyers 'should focus on price'

First-time buyers have been urged not to be drawn into making a purchase by incentives such as free gifts.

Paul Holmes, chief executive of new buyer specialist Firstrung, noted that developers have been trying to encourage potential homeowners by providing special offers.

But he suggested that getting a discount on the property itself is much more important, stating: "My advice to first-time buyers is ignore all that noise, ignore all the offers. If you can't get a good discount off the headline price, walk away."

According to Mr Holmes, buyers who do so can be sure that another developer will be willing to "knock a sensible amount off" an asking price.

His suggestion follows figures from the National House-Building Council, which revealed that the median value of new homes has dropped 4.69 per cent from its peak in the third quarter of 2007.

At £183,000 in the final quarter of 2008, the price was £4,000 below the previous three-month period.

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