Average home buyer waits 3.2 years to buy

People considering buying or moving home are having to wait an average of 3.2 years, according to recent research conducted by Gocompare.com Mortgages…

People considering buying or moving home are having to wait an average of 3.2 years, according to recent research conducted by Gocompare.com Mortgages.

51 per cent of people are looking to buy their first home or move house; however, high property values along with the high costs involved with moving mean that 61 per cent are unlikely to move within the next 12 months. 

The biggest obstacles to buying a home are high property prices in the area a person is looking to move to (22 per cent), getting enough money together for a deposit (18 per cent) and the associated costs of buying a property and moving (11 per cent).

Other barriers to moving home include a lack of availability of the type of property in the area someone wishes to live (11 per cent), job or income insecurity (10 per cent) and the ongoing costs of running a home including mortgage repayments, utility bills and council tax.

Although high property prices are cited as one of the key obstacles for many people, the research found that other difficulties vary considerably depending on a person's age. 

45 to 54-year-olds cite a poor credit history or credit score (14 per cent) and job/income insecurity among their top three barriers to buying or moving home, while those in the 55 to 64 and 65 and above age brackets state that the main obstacle they face is a lack of availability of the type of housing they wish to move to in the area they want to live in.

Unsurprisingly, 25 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds and 28 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds consider their main barrier to be affording the deposit, with high property prices being the second biggest concern for both age groups.

According to the Office for National Statistics, house prices are continuing to rise, which can largely be put down to increasing demands for property versus a lack of supply. The average house price in the UK now stands at £288,000 and with house price inflation exceeding wage growth, people are finding it even harder to save enough money for a deposit. As this problem persists, homeownership is becoming further out of reach for many people.

However, recently the market has shifted as lenders start to offer low-deposit mortgages. Most lenders now have a mortgage product aimed at homebuyers with a deposit of ten per cent of the purchase price of their property and, subject to stricter eligibility criteria, some lenders offer five per cent deposit mortgages under the government's Help To Buy scheme. 

Commenting on the research, Matt Sanders, spokesman for Gocompare.com Mortgages, said: "Affordability is a big concern for both first-time buyers and those wishing to move up the property ladder. Buying a home and repaying a mortgage will probably be the biggest expense most of us make – so it’s important to do your research to make sure you get the best deal for your circumstances."

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