How the cost of living crisis will affect the average age of first-time buyers

Posted on Monday, July 11, 2022

House prices have continued to soar, reaching a new average of £368,614. But, as the five interest rate rises and the cost of living crisis continues, how will this impact the average age of first-time buyers?

According to a recent study conducted by Safestyle UK, 28 is the average age that Brits purchase their first home. The survey of 2,000 British homeowners revealed that most people purchase their first home under the age of 30, with people in the North East, Yorkshire and Humber, East of England and the West Midlands are able to purchase their first property at the youngest age.

But with property prices rising across the country, exactly how much does the average first home cost?

Amongst UK homeowners who purchased in the last 10 years, the average first home cost £146,692 - approximately 60% lower than the average house price that has been estimated this month (£368,614).

Which region is best for first-time buyers?

The study revealed that the average first-time property price in London was £180,215, a whopping 49% more than Glasgow, the city where first homes came out as the least expensive, averaging at £90,375.

Overall, Wales came out as the region where first homes were the cheapest in the UK, averaging at £80,934 per property, followed shortly by Scotland at £95,594.69. The most expensive region was the South West, averaging at £201,689, just higher than Greater London’s £192,090.

UK house prices have risen a staggering 9.6% over the last year and although this is a reduction on the previous year’s 10% increase, it remains a significant cause of financial concern for first-time buyers looking to enter the property ladder.

Plus, it appears that the housing market favours those who are able to purchase a property with a partner, as over 70% of people said they bought their first home as joint ownership.

What do first-time buyers look for?

Property size is arguably the biggest and most important factor when it comes to purchasing, explaining why 43% of participants wanted at least 3 bedrooms in their first home.

Terraced properties were the most popular types of first home, accounting for 36% of participants overall and taking the top spot in almost every region. The average terraced home in the UK ranges from 688 sq. ft to 1087 sq. ft with 2-3 bedrooms per property, most including a small yard or garden.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Greater London was the only region in the UK where flats or apartments were the most common type of first property, purchased by 43% of London-based first-time buyers.

Since many first-time buyers debate on whether to put their money into a new build or a renovation project, it’s interesting to see that 35% of Brits purchased a new build whilst just 27% purchased a renovation project.

One thing was clear among both renovators and new-build buyers, homeowners are unsure of how much their windows can increase the value of their home. 35% of Brits don’t know when they last updated their windows or have never updated them since purchasing their first home.

Martin Troughton, Marketing Director at Safestyle UK, comments: “Considering that over a quarter of our first homes (27%) are renovation projects, it’s surprising to see that over a third of people didn’t know when they had last updated their windows.

“Replacing a property's windows is a key thing to consider when looking to increase the value of your property, especially if the existing windows are single glazed or have been installed over 10 years ago. If your windows are letting in cold air, condensation is appearing or if you notice that your windows aren’t closing properly, these are all signs that your windows might need replacing.

“Windows and doors clearly have a huge impact on how we feel about a property on first impression, which is why the option of having your windows tailormade, from style to colour will help to make your house a home.”

Via @PropertyReporter