Young first-time buyers are "more optimistic"

The Momentum UK Team 04 February 2014

Over a third (36%) of non-homeowners aged 18-34 are hoping to get on the property ladder in the near future, according to latest figures from the Post Office.

The figures, from the third annual Post Office House Buying Habit Report, may indicate a renewed sense of optimism among younger first time buyers.

The number of young people looking to buy their first home has remained similar over the last few years, but the number with no intention of buying has risen from 5% to 10% - indicating that the gap between the two groups is widening.

Although many young prospective buyers are still willing to make sacrifices in order to get on the property ladder, today’s report finds that this number is falling slightly. This could suggest a renewed consumer confidence amongst this group.

Forty-four percent of young first-time buyers are still willing to move into a “starter home” which requires additional work, but location remains a priority for young people; the number who would sacrifice living in a trendy area has fallen this year from 38% to 35%.

Many young people are still willing to make changes to their lifestyle in order to save for a deposit, although this number has also fallen gradually year-on-year. Topping the list of luxuries young people were willing to give up was takeaways; 57% said they would sacrifice this to save for a home, with 51% willing to stop going out at the weekend.

Others were prepared to make more drastic changes; 43% would consider making cutbacks to their food budget, and 14% would forego pension saving in order to build up their deposit instead.

John Willcock, head of mortgages at Post Office, commented on the report:

“For many people owning their own home is a dream they are determined to make a reality, and our report highlights the lengths some will go to. Since the recession in 2008, people have taken extra steps to save money for a deposit. However, the launch of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme and a raft of affordable loans on the market look to have rallied optimism amongst first-time buyers.”