Rising living costs ‘forcing first-time buyers to delay home purchase plans’

Seven in 10 (70%) potential first-time buyers looking to buy in the next year or two have decided to delay their purchases as rising living costs hit their ability to save, according to a survey.

Nearly nine in 10 (88%) said their ability to save for a deposit has been affected by the rising cost of living, Nationwide Building Society found.

People were most likely to say this in Wales and Northern Ireland (98% in both parts of the UK) and in Scotland (93%).

The area where people were least likely to say this was London, but the figure there was still 82%.

Of the main problems noted by people about buying a home in the area where they live, nearly three in five (57%) said it was high house prices, while 43% said rents were too high to be able to save.

Nearly a quarter (24%) said their area had a competitive housing market, while the same amount (24%) cited a lack of homes on the market.

Around seven in 10 (69%) said they would be willing to relocate to another part of the UK to get more for their money.

Nearly half (47%) are reducing their everyday spending and 43% are cutting back on going out or eating out.

Paul Archer, senior mortgage manager at Nationwide Building Society, said: “Building a deposit remains the single biggest barrier to homeownership today, with many people starting out facing a long uphill battle to save. The rising cost of living has made this even harder.”

More than 2,000 prospective first-time buyers were surveyed.