Recent research from Experian indicates that aspiring homeowners are moving away from city centres and seeking properties in rural locations.
First time buyers are more likely to buy a house in the Western Isles of Scotland rather than in an exclusive area, such as Kensington and Chelsea.
Furthermore, the average age of a first time buyer has slowly risen over the last decade. Experian found that first time buyers are more often young families between the ages of 26-35-years old, than younger professionals.
This is believed to be due to families seeking a permanent residence and young professionals enjoying the flexibility of renting.
First Time Buyers Seeking Rural Properties
Affordability is also a key factor in purchasing one’s first home.
The latest data, from 2012, shows the average age of first time buyers in each region of the UK:
Average age of first time buyer
|Yorkshire & the Humber
|East of England
These shocking statistics reveal that the average first time buyer in the capital is 52-years-old. This is considerably higher than other parts of the country, despite the youngest first time buyer still being 35-years-old.
London’s first time buyers must therefore wait longer until they have saved enough for a deposit and can securely purchase a property.
But London is still out of reach for so many. A report in 2014 states: “On the best measure of affordability, a standard property in London is half as affordable as it was in 1997 and not a lot more affordable than at the worst point in 2007.”1
An example of affordability pressures in the capital is emphasised by this property comparison: A two-bedroom home in Kensington and Chelsea is on the market on Rightmove for £3.1m. A three-bedroom house on the Scottish border is on the market for £182,500.
In this instance, a first time buyer could save a massive £2,917,500 by looking further afield.
Richard Jenkins, a senior consultant at Experian, comments: “The population in British cities has clearly dramatically altered in recent times. With central areas now dominated by a combination of the very well off and a new generation of young renters.”1
Londoners are quite aware of the dramatic house prices in the city. But it is still a desirable location of accessible amenities. Property developers take advantage of this fact and make a considerable profit out of those that struggle to live in the capital.
It is a known fact that more homes need to be built, but a levelling of prices across all UK regions would also make housing more affordable for all buyers. First time buyers should have the flexibility of living either in a city or in a rural spot.
The amount of private renters in the country will continue to rise if prices do not come down, meaning more aspiring homeowners pushed out of the market.