First-time buyers drowned out of market as cost-of-living storm batters prospects

Homeownership dream in tatters as first-time buyers buffeted by cost-of-living storm with five in 10 doubting they will ever get on the ladder.


Disappointed couple interview

Five out of 10 wannabe first-time buyers now doubt that they will ever be able to buy as the cost-of-living crisis batters prospects and shatters dreams, a damning report from Leeds Building Society reveals today.

Some six out of 10 of those planning to buy in the next five years have delayed their purchase by average by 18 months while eight out of 10 first-time buyers that managed to get a foothold say that spiralling living costs made it harder to save for a deposit.


The research, which was conducted in late October following the Truss government’s mini budget, suggests that 60% of those looking to buy in the next five years have decided to delay their purchase because of the rising cost of living (21%), higher mortgages rates (19%) and falling house prices (20%). Of those that have decided to delay their purchase, almost nine in 10 (89%) say it will be for six months or more – and the average expected delay in buying is 18 months.


Some 69% of first-time buyers are worried whether they will still qualify for a mortgage as affordability becomes an issue – and almost three quarters (73%) are worried about the availability of mortgage deals.

And 68% of first-time buyers are now worried that – even if they were able to get the deposit together – they would now struggle to meet the higher mortgage repayments.


But despite the gloom the research suggests a light at the end of the tunnel in the shape of shared ownership.

Seen by some as a natural replacement for Help to Buy, the government scheme lowers the deposit required as users effectively buy part and rent part of their home.

Once would-be first-time buyers were told about Shared Ownership and what it is, more than half (60%) said it would either help them get on the ladder in the future, whilst 22% of homeowners feel it would have helped them get on the ladder sooner.

Estate agents all have a role to play in changing that.”

Richard Fearon, Leeds Building Society
Richard Fearon, Leeds Building Society

Richard Fearon, Leeds Building Society, chief executive, says: “Houses have never been less affordable, and the cost-of-living crisis and the recent increases in interest rates are a further blow to those hoping to buy.

“In the short term, a stronger case needs to be made for Shared Ownership to help more people get the keys to their first home.

“There is a clear lack of awareness about the benefits of Shared Ownership and lenders, brokers and estate agents all have a role to play in changing that.”

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