A Zoopla analysis has taken place to determine what exactly first-time buyers are looking for at the moment. With more than 600,000 homes listed, the data was logged via email or call-back requests made by first-time home buyers.
The annual English Housing Survey has drawn a comparison around the characteristics of first-time buyers in 2015-16 with the first-time buyers of 10 years earlier.
The study found that the average age of first-time buyers rose from ages 31 to 33 years old and they were more likely to be couples.
The amount of first-time buyers with children has grown from 23% up to 37% across the same time-period. These homes were also more likely to have been financially aided by the homeowners’ parents.
In the 10 years to 2015-16, the number of first-time buyers who required help with their deposit increased from 22% to 29%.
As suspected, the Zoopla study showed that around 26% of buyers in London were searching for a three-bedroom home as opposed to the 50% seen in Wales, the Midlands and the Northwest. Two-bed flats were noted as the most popular option for aspiring owners in the Capital.
Although, despite the increased market prices taking its toll, first-time buyers are a growingly important element of the housing market.
Richard Donnell, Zoopla research director, said that “first-time buyers typically want to buy where economies are strong and growing, and near where they’re going to be working.”
According to Richard Donnell, “first-time buyers are thinking about staying in a property for 10-12 years rather than a shorter period. They’re aiming higher and want to save up and get a first home they can grow into.”
Traditionally, first-time buyers of the previous generations would start and progress from a smaller home and later move to bigger and better properties.
Donnell explains, “If you go back to the 1980s and 1990s when interest rates and inflation were higher, people were buying with a shorter four to five-year time horizon. Today, first-time buyers are reluctant to go lower down the market just to get on the housing ladder.”
First-time buyers are now ignoring the cosy one-bedroom starter flats and they strive towards the greater three-bedroom ‘dream’ homes, causing an anomaly in the housing market generation statistics.