Many first-time buyers ‘more determined to get on housing ladder’

Nearly two-thirds (61%) of first-time buyers say purchasing a home is more important to them now than it was before the coronavirus lockdown in March, a survey has found.

But many are relying heavily on the bank of mum and dad to help them achieve their ambitions, the survey for Yorkshire Building Society suggests.

While some people hoping to get on the property ladder will be suffering setbacks from job losses and pay cuts, 44% of first-time buyers said they have been able to save more for their deposit during the pandemic.

More than a third (35%) expect to be in a position to buy sooner than they had expected.

But with the average monthly saving for those wanting to buy their first home now standing at £336, the society estimated it will take a single person seven years and five months to save a 15% deposit for the average first-time buyer home.

Opinium surveyed more than 2,000 people in August, who are hoping to get on the property ladder in the next three years, for the research.

The findings also indicate many would-be home owners are pinning their hopes on the bank of mum and dad to help fund their deposit.

Half (50%) of first-time buyers are looking for financial help from relatives, rising to 59% in London.

Many low deposit mortgages have disappeared from the market in recent months as lenders generally have become more concerned about “riskier” borrowers.

Yorkshire Building Society said it is committed to supporting first-time buyers with mortgages for those with 10% deposits when capacity allowed. It has handed out more than 4,000 mortgages in this market since the lockdown started.

Ben Merritt, mortgages acquisition manger at Yorkshire Building Society, said: “Getting on the housing ladder seems to be more important now than it ever was.

“Whether it’s being in shared rented accommodation whilst juggling home and work life, or spending lockdown back in the family home, the pandemic has clearly increased the resolve of first-time buyers who have increased their savings and are more determined than ever to buy their first home.

“It’s a real priority and life ambition for many people, but getting there still remains a challenge which is why we are seeing many lean on relatives for support with deposits.

“Despite the lower availability of higher LTV (loan-to-value) products, there are options available to first-time buyers and so it pays to do your research to help you get the support you need.”

The society has also created a guide for those who are getting ready to buy their first home so they know what to expect when viewing property and getting their first mortgage during the pandemic.