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FTB numbers double but deposit and affordability concerns remain

  • 07/03/2022
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FTB numbers double but deposit and affordability concerns remain
First-time buyer numbers have grown by 98 per cent in 2021, but borrowers are still concerned about raising a deposit, rising house prices and have little knowledge about the mortgage process.


According to Barclays first-time buyer index, which combines the lender’s data with consumer research from 2,000 potential or existing first-time buyers, these borrowers in 2021 paid an average £281,9000 to get on the property ladder.

This is slightly down from the average £294,5000 in the prior year. However, it is a rise from the 2019 average of £249,7000.

The average deposit paid by solo first-time buyers and joint buyers came to £61,100 and £61,000, both down from the previous year’s figures of £71,400 and £63,800 respectively.


Potential homeownership barriers


Just over a third said that saving for a deposit was the greatest obstacle to home ownership, which was followed by high house prices, lack of options in their desired area, inability to find an appealing property and lack of understanding on how to apply for a mortgage.

Around 62 per cent said that personal savings was their main method of raising a deposit, which was followed by a government scheme like Help to Buy with 24 per cent and 17 per cent citing inheritance. A gift from parents emerged at 16 per cent and investing came last at 13 per cent.

The average income for both solo first-time buyers and joint first-time buyers have risen to £50,800 and £70,600 respectively. This is up from £45,900 for solo first-time buyers and £63,800 for joint first-time buyers in 2019.

Barclays said that the average first-time buyer starts saving at 24 and the average age of completion is 32, which the lender says has remained static for the past three years.

However, over half of existing or potential first-time buyers said they didn’t know how to go about buying their first property.

Many were not aware of extra fees with 39 per cent saying that they were unaware of solicitor fees, and 54 per cent said they didn’t know they might need to pay stamp duty.

Claire Macphail, mortgage expert at Barclays, said it was “encouraging” that more first-time buyers had been able to get on the property ladder in 2021 but it was “worrying” that many believed they would never afford their first property.

She added: “Our index points to the importance of first-time buyers being supported by family so it’s essential for lenders to innovate to provide new ways in which first time buyers can get a head start.”


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