In some areas over 40% of people think they can afford to buy their first home on their own

publication date: Feb 4, 2019
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

Could you afford to buy alone?

New research released by the Nottingham Building Society (The Nottingham) has revealed that first-time buyers in the East Midlands and Scotland are the most likely to buy alone when purchasing their first property.

  • 32% of UK first-time buyers think they will be able to buy alone

  • 41% of East Midlands FTBs are of the view that they could buy alone

  • 45% of potential FTBs in Scotland are happy to buy on their own

Conversely, in the rest of the UK the numbers are as follows:

  • 58% will buy as one half of a couple

  • Just below 10% will buy with friends or family

  • Men are more likely to purchase with friends/family than women – 10% compared to 6%

Interestingly, research indicates that FTB numbers are on the up but the Nottingham’s study reveals that concerns regarding the Brexit process could put a stop to this. According to the Nottingham’s findings, 43% of FTBs claimed they had put off buying due to the potential impact of exiting the EU on house prices.

The research also revealed that:

  • FTBs expect to spend more than £210,000 on average for a home

  • FTBs think they need to raise an average deposit of £44,000

  • FTBs believe the deposit needs to be 64% of combined annual salary

Looking at actual average prices and deposit data from the Halifax (albeit 2017), this suggests that FTBs are not far off estimating the average price, however, they are over estimating the actual deposit that FTBs are putting down which was 25% less at £33,000.

The deposit range was even lower for those in the North and Wales who are only finding £18,000, albeit Greater London impacts the overall average with people finding £112,000.

In addition, depending on salaries, although this the level of deposit buyers are putting down, it does not mean you need to find this much money as FTBs can borrow with just a 5% deposit especially if purchasing a new home through the Help to Buy Scheme. For those who have parents that can act as guarantors, it is also possible to buy with no deposit at all.

If FTBs can afford a property for around £200,000 with a 5% deposit, they would only need £10,000 which although difficult to save on your own is definitely possible if there are two of you, and you use the Help to Buy/Lifetime ISA.

Source: Halifax

It is fairly impressive that over 40% of people in Scotland and the East Midlands are managing to get on the ladder by themselves, however it’s really interesting that somewhere like the West Midlands which has similar prices to the East Midlands, has only 23% of people buying alone versus London’s 25%.

This suggests that whether people buy alone or with someone else, is not necessarily purely price related.



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