First-time buyers in South East are struggling with “property ladder anxiety” according to new statistics revealed today by leading housebuilder, Linden Homes.
A national study* surveying 2,000 first-time buyers across the UK found that although the majority of respondents want to own their own home or have a property of their own to rent out in the next year or two (46%), 45 per cent stated they didn’t feel they would be able to afford it in the next five years.
Unsurprisingly, not having the all-important money saved for the deposit to secure a new home was cited as the most common barrier to buying a new home (67%).
Meanwhile 35 per cent of respondents said they could not afford to move on their own, and 23 per cent stated they did not think they would be able to afford monthly repayments or bills on their own. An alarming further 15 per cent said they did not understand the procedures of buying a property.
Adrian Sims, managing director at Linden Homes Chiltern, said: “Our teams are dealing with first-time buyers every day and it’s a real shame that so many are struggling with the prospect of owning their own property in the South East especially when so many clearly place a lot of importance on having a home they can call their own.”
Often first-time buyers can find themselves locked in rented accommodation, as indicated by this survey in which respondents said on average they had been renting for 6.64 years. Interestingly, over a quarter (35%) confirmed they have been locked in rented accommodation for 11 years or more.
The main reason cited for those wanting to escape the rental trap and own a property was a desire to set up their life for the family / future. Secondly, the first-time buyers polled saw owning a property as a safe long-term investment, whilst the third most popular driver was fear of getting left behind their friends, with 7 per cent of respondents saying many of their peers own their property and they didn’t want to get left behind.
When asked about saving for big life events and the priority placed on each one, the pool of first-time buyers surveyed stated that paying off debt was the most important item of focus, followed closely by buying a home. The third most important item first-time buyers want to save for was family followed by a car, holiday and wedding.
Although most first-time buyers want to own a property, most of those surveyed felt they would be priced out of the market they currently live in, with just under half (49%) saying they did not think they would be able to buy a home in the same area.
Adrian continued: “So many people get property ladder anxiety; they look at local homes on the market and do the calculations themselves based on a 20 per cent deposit without actually speaking to experts in the field. What they don’t always consider is the schemes available to help make that house purchase, a possibility.
“The advent of Help to Buy unlocks so much potential for this market to get onto the property ladder. We are often asked, ’what’s the catch?’ But put simply, it has never been a better time to buy a new build home.
“Buyers can save thousands of pounds off their dream home – both in costs at the outset and on monthly payments too. People are only allowed to buy what they can afford – so this isn’t something to be scared of.”
In fact, the latest government figures** show Help to Buy has supported over 130,000 people to achieve their aspiration of buying their own home since it was launched with Linden Homes seeing 37 per cent of its customers benefitting from the scheme.
Adrian explained: “Buying a home can seem like a daunting process; but we aim to make the procedure as easy as possible. We’d encourage those who are renting and curious about getting on the property ladder in the South East to come and meet our teams across Hertfordshire and North London to hear more about the schemes available and how we can make them work for you.”
Linden Homes Chiltern currently have properties available for Help to Buy across Hertfordshire in Borehamwood (Empire Court, 02080 039 690) and Hemel Hempstead (Nash Mills Wharf, 01923 708 346).
Those interested in Help to Buy can read more about the scheme here and use Linden Homes’ Help to Buy calculator to research what they could afford and which homes are available on the scheme in their area.
* Study conducted by OnePoll in February 2015 surveyed 2,000 first-time buyers across the UK.
** Statistics from gov.uk (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/help-to-buy-helping-130000-own-their-own-home)
Media can contact Emma Cox or Fotini Efstathiou at Remarkable Group on 01962 893893 for more information, images and interviews with Linden Homes
12 January 2016
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