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Survey Shows Fewer First Time Home Buyers in England

The age of first time buyers in England has increased over the past 20 years, up from 30 to 33, according to the latest English Housing Survey published by the government, according to a report by Propertywire.com.

In 2014/2015 the majority of first time buyers, some 61 per cent, were aged 25 to 34 and this was similar to 1994/1995 but between 1994/1995 and 2014/2015 the proportion of first time buyers aged 16 to 24 fell from 23 per cent to 10 per cent, while the proportion aged 35 to 44 increased from 11 per cent to 20 per cent.

The survey, from the Department of Communities and Local Government also shows that more first time buyer households were couples than single people, compared with 20 years ago.

The proportion of first time buyers that were single households halved from 29 per cent in 1994/1995 to 14 per cent in 2014/2015, meaning 80 per cent of all first time buyers were couple households, a marked change since 1994/1995 when it was 63 per cent and 2004/2005 when it was 62 per cent.

The report suggests that this may be due to an increasing need for two incomes to be able to buy.

The analysis shows that among first time buyers that were couples, those with dependent children have increased the most from 20 per cent to 31 per cent and first time buyers had higher incomes and more help with funding their deposits than was required 20 years earlier.

Some 72 per cent of first time buyers were in the fourth and fifth quintile income bands in 2014/2015, up from 62 per cent in 1994/1995 and there was an increase in the proportion of first time buyers that had help from friends and family from 21 per cent to 27 per cent, while those that used inherited money for their deposit increased by three per cent to 10 per cent.

Expectation to buy declined among private renters between 2013/2014 and 2014/2015, after a period of relative stability since 2006/2007. A breakdown of the figures show that in 2014/2015 some 57 per cent of private renters were more likely to expect to buy property at some point in the future than social renters at 24 per cent.

Since 2006/2007 the proportion of private renters who expect to buy a home has remained relatively consistent. However, there was a decline from 61 per cent in 2013/2014 to 57 per cent in 2014/2015.

There was no such decline in the proportion of social renters who expected to buy over the latest year. This was in large part due to the fall in the proportion of 25 to 44 year old private renters who expect to buy in the latest year.

Expectation to buy for 25 to 34 year olds in the private rented sector was relatively stable from 2008/2009 but the 71 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds expecting to buy their own property in 2014/2015 signified a decrease from 78 per cent in 2013/2014. A similar pattern was evident among private renters aged 35 to 44 years, with a decline from 68 per cent to 60 per cent in the latest year.

There were older social and private renters expecting to buy than in 2010/2011. Among social renters, the proportion of 45 to 54 year olds expecting to buy increased from 15 per cent in 2010/2011 to 24 per cent in 2014/2015. In the private rented sector, the proportion of 45 to 54 years olds expecting to buy increased from 33 per cent in 2010/2011 to 48 per cent in 2014/2015.

Couples with dependent children were more likely to expect to buy a home than couples without children or single households and in 2014/2015 some 28 per cent of all renting households who expected to buy a home in the future were couples with dependent children.

The next most likely household type to expect to buy were couples with no children at 19 per cent and single person households at 18 per cent.

Among renters not expecting to buy, two thirds cited affordability as the main barrier to home ownership. In 2014/2015, the proportion of people who felt they were unlikely to buy a home due to affordability was similar across the social and the private rented sectors, with 65 per cent in the private rented sector and 66 per cent of people in the social rented sector citing affordability as the main barrier to home ownership.

A minority of households did not expect to purchase a home because they preferred their current circumstances as renters. Some nine per cent said they liked it where they were and one per cent preferred the flexibility of renting.

 

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