With the UK back in recession for the first time in eleven years, things are looking particularly bleak for those attempting to get their first foot onto the property ladder.
The recent government lifeline of a stamp duty holiday may have provided relief for some, cutting home-buying costs and allowing many first-timers to get a foot on the real estate ladder to purchase their first home, but is this enough?
Newly released research from mortgage advice company, First Mortgage, looks at how first-time buyers have taken advantage of lockdown to secure their first home and how their saving habits have changed.
Up to 40% of first-time buyers strive for a two-bed property. However, an average two bedroom property in the UK can fluctuate hugely on price. Within local areas, 58% said they were unsure of what the average cost of a two-bed property would be nearby, and 42% said they were not entirely certain about property prices in their area. With working from home becoming more of a permanent solution than a lockdown measure, 57% of respondents admitted that they are considering a move to the country, for access to better properties at lower prices.
The race to the finish line of the re-introduction of stamp duty is one lost by many first home buyers with 29% saying that even with tightening of the belt, and lockdown savings, it would take three to four years to save what they needed to for a deposit.
Sophie Parkin, a first-time-buyer, managed to take advantage of no stamp duty and packed up her London life for a house in the country.
Parkin said, “Being a first-time buyer was daunting, and to start with, most of the time was spent Googling what everything meant. We worked with First Mortgage for advice, and they broke down what we needed to do to get our own home.”
Regardless of location, saving often requires sacrifices and lifestyle changes. For example, to achieve their savings goals, some saved by reducing the number of times they ate out (34%), others opted to veto their annual getaway (32%), and others even moved back in with their parents (18%).
Parkin added, “We had to be tight with our savings, we had a spreadsheet of all of our incomings and outgoings. We had a savings target each month that we had to hit, and we packed lunches, cancelled social occasions, and got rid of subscriptions to be able to meet it. It’s worth it though now we are in our own home.”
A third of first home buyers revealed they did not have a fixed amount they saved each month to put towards buying their first home.