Prospective first-time buyer level is at its highest for nearly three years
The proportion of intending home-buyers over the next 12 months who will be purchasing for the first time is at
its highest level for nearly three years, says a new report by Rightmove, making up nearly three in ten of those who expect to buy a property over the next year. Pictured is a snapshot of those who expect to buy in the next 12 months that will buy for the first-time
“The results come as a welcome surprise,hopefully this three year high in intending first-time buyers will come to fruition,” said Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove comments. “It seems that some five years into the property market downturn, more are getting their heads and wallets around the new rules of first-time home-ownership, though they still face some testing challenges. The property market needs this upward trend in first-time buyer activity to continue as first-time buyers perform an essential role at the bottom of the property market food chain. They give second-steppers the resources to trade up the housing ladder, as well as alleviating demand and upwards rental pressure in the rented sector”.
Rightmove’s research has identified four reasons to be cheerful about first-time buyer activity, which will come as welcome news not only for those looking to get on the housing ladder but for the wider property market as well.
1. Prospective first-time buyer level at its highest for nearly three years, representing almost three in ten of those who expect to buy a property in the next 12 months
In the survey 27.9% of those who confirmed they intend to buy in the next 12 months state they will be buying for the first time, the highest proportion of intending first-time buyers since 2009. At that time a marginally lower proportion of 27.6% was recorded, and since then it has plunged as low as 22.2%.
2. Average ‘on the ladder age’ falls by one year as more ‘get their act together’
When surveyed in October 2011, the average age of intending first-time buyers was 32. In this survey, some six months later, the figure has fallen by one year to 31 years old. With the economic downturn about to enter its sixth year it has been very clear for some considerable time that you have to plan early to be a successful first-time buyer. The slight fall in average age indicates more are making provision earlier meaning they can gain a year of home ownership at the expense of a year in rented or parental accommodation.
3. Raising a deposit still the biggest concern for 33%, but big improvement on 42% a year ago, as would-be first-time buyers’ savings accumulate over time
Raising enough of a deposit remains the single biggest concern amongst intending first-time buyers 33.3%. However, this has fallen from 42.2% a year ago, indicating that more are saving hard and those savings are accumulating over time. Indeed the biggest concern for an increasing number is no longer the size of the deposit required, but finding a suitable property to buy. This is up from 23.0% a year ago to 30.2% in this survey.
4. Lucky in love, lucky in home-ownership? Nearly two-thirds of intending first-time buyers are looking to get on the housing ladder with a partner
63% are looking to buy for the first time with a partner. Shipside said: “Where there is a will there’s a way, and buying with a partner rather than on your own certainly makes the property ladder more accessible. People still have a love of
property ownership, and having a partner in love is the way most people are achieving that goal”.
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