The future of home ownership: first-time buyer’s edition

Buying a property is a major milestone achievement: it takes a lot of saving and hard work to get there, but collecting the keys to your first ever property is such a great feeling!  

We all know that house prices have risen much more than wages over the years, but how much are properties in the UK predicted to cost in ten years’ time, and will the average age of the first-time buyer increase? 

We decided to discover exactly this, whilst also asking homeowners if they’d have done anything differently when looking for their first home; as well as providing top tips on how best to make your house a safe haven from the moment you move in. 

The average cost of a property in the UK is predicted to cost £323,718 in 2031

The average cost of a property in 2020 in the UK was £232,084, rising to almost twice the price, at £456,837 in London. Prices are predicted to continue to increase year on year, reaching an average of £323,718 in the UK, and £619,568 in London by 2031. House prices are also predicted to increase across UK regions, over the next ten years:

With house prices rising, it makes sense that so too, does the trend for the average age of the first-time buyer. In 2006, the average age of a person getting on the property ladder was 32 in London and 30.6 in the rest of England, which then rose to 34.5 in London, and 32.2 in the rest of England in 2020. This trend is predicted to continue over the next ten years, reaching 37 in London and 34.7 in the rest of England in 2031.

23% of homeowners wished they’d bought a more expensive property

33% of homeowners purchased their home on their own, whereas 47% bought with a partner. For many people, to get a deposit together, they needed help from family and friends; with 66% of people who got financial help, receiving it from their parents. Almost one in five homeowners who received help got it through a government support scheme, such as the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme, a cash ISA, and help-to-buy. 

We asked people who purchased their first homes ten years ago, to see what they’d do differently, and more than 20% of respondents said they’d have spent more on the overall value of their home, or they’d purchase a bigger property. For many, a first home is simply a way of getting on the property ladder, but this suggests that perhaps we should be looking at the bigger picture, and planning for the future. 

Nearly 10% of future first time buyers anticipate needing help with their deposit

For those looking to buy a property over the next few years, nearly 10% need help getting the deposit together: with 72% turning to their parents, and nearly 28% using a government support scheme. 

In the past, the average amount given from family for a deposit was £8,635.14, with nearly 50% of recipients getting it as a gift. This has actually decreased slightly amongst future homeowners, who predict they’ll be receiving around £8,346.15 of financial help. 

With 63% of future homeowners saying space is the most important thing when buying a home; this shows how much COVID has changed what we value in a home, with more of us looking for larger gardens and extra bedrooms than ever before. 

Other things that future buyers find important in their property hunt is the area they’re looking to buy, and how expensive the property is. 

Three top tips for making your first house your home

If you’re hoping to purchase your first ever property now or within the next five – ten years, congratulations! It’s a really exciting time, but it’s also important to put appropriate measures in place to make it your very own safe heaven and keep it protected. To make that as easy as possible for you, we’ve included our top tips for first-time buyers:

1. Plan in advance  

Making your first house a home might involve a variety of changes to the property and as we all know, accidents happen, and so it’s important that you opt for the correct insurance policy.  

You’ll need to make sure that you take out buildings insurance from the moment you exchange contracts, whilst your contents cover can be taken out at the same time or can be added on when you have some to insure. Moving can be stressful, so by doing it this way, it’s one less thing to worry about when the day comes. It might be worth looking for additional moving home cover, should the worst happen.

2. Review your security measures  

Moving into a new home can be daunting, especially if you don’t know the area. To help make your home a safe haven from the get-go and to keep everything protected, it’s important that you check out the security measures you have in place, such as CCTV, digital doorbells, and even automated light sensors. If it just so happens that you don’t have the protection in place that you desire, you can start to switch it out and add in new security systems as soon as you have your keys.  

3. Get to know your neighbours   

Reaching out and introducing yourself to your neighbours is a great idea when first moving into a property, as not only can it be the start of a new friendship, but it’s also beneficial to have a friend to hand when you go away. Having someone who can watch over your property really helps to keep your home and belongings safe from any unwanted visitors whilst you’re away.  

If you’re hoping to purchase a home in the next few years, we hope this has helped outline what prices may look like across London and the rest of England, as well as how to make your home a safe haven from the moment you exchange. Alternatively, if you’ve recently moved into your first home, then congratulations! There’s likely loads of things you’ll need to sort out, but one thing you’ll need to tick off the list will be purchasing your home and contents insurance, as well as sorting out your energy bills – both of which we can help you with! 

Brought to you by the home insurance experts at comparethemarket.com. 

Methodology

To source the average cost of properties and make future predictions, we used ONS data, for the years 1992-2020, and then used the in-built linear forecast function for Excel to forecast the estimated prices for the years 2021-2040.  

To source and predict the average age of a first-time buyer in the UK, we gathered data from Statista/ONS from 2006-2020, and then used the in-built linear forecast function for Excel to forecast the estimated age for the years 2021-2031. 

To determine Brits’ habits on first-time buying ten years ago vs. now, a poll of 1,000 UK homeowners was carried out by TLF in August 2021.