We recently commissioned comprehensive research into first time buyers across the UK and are pleased to share the insights with you. Over 1,000 people were surveyed, who had either bought a new or existing home in the past two years, or were planning to buy one within the next two years.

There were a mix of genders, ages, geographical regions and socio-economic groups, building a rich picture of British first time buyers. Below is a snapshot of the top level findings, and a profile of a typical first time buyer. Over the coming weeks we’ll share these insights with you in more detail.

 

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1. Property – a display of identity

The overwhelming trigger for first time buyers is to have a property where they can put their own mark on the decoration and design.

2. Women in the driving seat

Women first time buyers tend to be more engaged in the property search than men, and lead the process.

3. The integral role of the family

Over half of first time buyers turn to their families for advice and support when searching for a home.

4. Portals – a constant point of reference

On average the complete property journey will take 2 years and 9 months. Portals play a key role throughout.

5. Familiarity drives location

The key deciding factors for first time buyers when choosing a location are familiarity, a safe neighbourhood and an easy commute into work.

6. The reality gap – a missing £45k

First time buyers looking for a property have a budget of £167k, but recent purchasers ended up buying for £212k.

7. The devil of a deposit

With an average deposit of around £20k needed, almost two thirds are finding it difficult to save and many drop out of the market.

8. The evolution of estate agents

First time buyers often don’t recognise the value estate agents can provide in the buying process, and perceptions of estate agents are lower amongst those who have previously rented.

9. New homes for a new generation

The lure of new homes is the feeling they are designed solely for the first time buyer generation. Their ease, convenience, schemes and difference from what their parents own adds to their appeal.

10. Uncertain times sparking a need for certainty

Brexit and the economic climate are creating uncertainty rather than negativity, sparking a desire for greater certainty around financing and to ‘put down roots’.