It takes two to become a first-time buyer

Nearly two out of three first-time buyers are now couples, rather than individuals, as rising house prices make it tougher to raise the deposit to make the first step on to the property ladder, our latest research shows.

Our study shows 63% of first-time buyers bought as part of a couple over the past five years compared with 37% who were able to make it on their own. And just 18% of those who bought as part of a couple say they would have been able to buy on their own.

The study of first-time buyers shows the biggest hurdle they face is raising a deposit – around half (47%) of those questioned say saving for the deposit or borrowing it from family was the toughest challenge ahead of 33% who say finding a house they could afford and 20% who say it was applying for a mortgage.

First-time buyers’ experiences are backed up by mortgage brokers – one in three brokers say the number of joint applications has increased over the past two years while brokers say on average around one in five of first-time buyer clients are buying on their own.

The latest Land Registry data (for March) shows the average house price in England and Wales is currently £189,901 with average prices around the country ranging from £97,581 in the North East to £534,785 in London highlighting the need for hefty deposits.

Ian Gibbons, Senior Mortgage Broking Manager at Nottingham Mortgage Services (part of The Nottingham), said: “Rising house prices increase the pressure on first-time buyers and makes saving for a deposit more challenging.

“Clearly two salaries are better than one and that is driving the rise in the number of first-time buyers who can only afford to buy as part of a pair. It is striking that just one in five who bought as couples believe they could have managed it on their own.

“However there is a lot of help for first-time buyers from the Government and mortgage lenders with special deals and even Help to Buy: ISAs. You don’t have to be part of a couple but the key to buying your first home is to search the whole market and get specialist advice on the wide range of options available.”

Nottingham’s research shows 53% of first-time buyer couples say they could not have bought on their own while another 29% say they could have afforded a house but it would have been smaller or less expensive.

The goal of Nottingham Mortgage Services is to find the best mortgage deal for customers by offering a fee-free service that searches over 60 lenders. From first-time buyer mortgages, re-mortgages through to mortgage for house purchase and buy-to-lets, it has been successfully helping people find the right deal on their mortgages for a number of years. Its expert advisers search the whole of the mortgage market, looking for the best deals. They explain the costs and benefits of each mortgage and will only recommend a mortgage that is right for the customer.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

*Research conducted online between 20th and 21st April 2016 among a nationally representative sample of 1,065 adults 18+ by independent market research firm Consumer Intelligence


Last updated on:

Sign up to our newsletter

We regularly send out newsletters with product information, advice on improving your finances and top tips. If you would like to receive this please sign up to our newsletter, which you can unsubscribe from at any point.