Newly released data from Post Office Money has revealed that the key to buying your first home could be as simple as moving 28 minutes away from your preferred location.
According to a recent study of more than 1000 people who have made their homeownership dream a reality in the last two years, compromises are key to securing their dream home.
Those who compromised on location ended up choosing a home an average of 28 minutes, or 5.5 miles, away from their original preferred location. One in seven (13%) recent FTBs found themselves moving an hour or more away from their original location.
Two thirds of FTBers ended up in a different location to their original choice, , because they had friends or family living there (14%), it was closer to their work (14%) and they knew it by reputation (13%). For one in 10 (11%) they chose their original location because they already lived there.
Just under one in ten (7%) made no compromises when purchasing their first home, other successful FTBs purchased a smaller property than they anticipated (14%). A further one in 10 (11%) found a property without a suitable garden and 7% even chose a property needing structural work.
To support FTBs on their journey to home ownership, Post Office has launched an online tool help aspiring home owners find the areas most affordable to them in their desired location and map their deposit savings journey.
Ross Hunter, Post Office Money said, “Our data shows that 56% of UK property is affordable to FTBs and it’s great to see that FTBs are still determined to get on the property ladder. Not only are they willing to move further afield to find their dream home, they’re also happy to make compromises to boost their deposit savings including giving up going on holiday (34%), takeaways (28%) and lunches out (26%).
“Buying a property in a highly sought-after area could mean buyers are faced with a longer savings period, making the journey seem out of reach. However, there are many ways prospective buyers can make their homeownership dream a reality. Considering somewhere away from your preferred location can open you up to more affordable properties. Recent FTBs who compromised on location were often happy with their chosen area (70%).”
Compromises and income boosters
In order to save for their first home, a third (34%) were most willing to compromise on the quality of their lifestyle, while a further quarter (23%) didn’t mind how long it took them to save.
On top of this, recent FTBs would commonly give up luxuries, including going on holiday (34%), having takeaways (28%) and buying lunch out (26%). However, some FTBs were faced with bigger lifestyle compromises; some even had to move to purchase their first home, with 12% moving back in with parents to save money.
Recent FTBs look for ways to boost their income to save for their deposit including working overtime (33%), selling items on websites such as eBay (25%) and finding a higher paying job (18%).
The changing housing market can mean FTBs need to reconsider their original plans and look for a suitable home among the 56% of properties in the UK that are deemed affordable to FTBs. Post Office Money has identified Blackpool, Southampton, Wigan and Oldham as affordability hotspots for FTBs, while historic cities Oxford, Cambridge and York are deemed completely unaffordable.