Queue of homebuyers but no finance

Homeowners looking to sell their house may have to offer buyers something extra like a conservatory or loft conversion to stand out from the crowd.

With a market that has stagnated for so long, a new surge of first-time buyers are expected to arrive on the scene soon, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

Chief executive Peter Bolton-King explained that there could be a spike in sales if the demand is met with finance.

"NAEA figures show that there is a huge demand for property from first-time buyers, who are increasingly visiting estate agents, registering their interest and searching for property," he said.

"These figures demonstrate that they are being frustrated at the final hurdle because lenders are not making mortgages available."

The latest Council of Mortgage Lenders data seems to back this up – mortgage approvals fell by almost half (49 per cent) year-on-year in 2008, representing the lowest level since 1974.

The NAEA represents around 10,000 members and is the sales arm of the National Federation of Property Professionals.