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Buying aspirations hit 40 year high

Long term home-owning aspirations of first-time buyers are higher than at any time since the 1970s.

Sarah Davidson, 8 May, 2012

Research carried out for the AA Home Emergency Response service revealed that of those who have bought their first home in the period since the 2008 housing peak, 37% say they feel they can realistically aspire to owning a detached home.

The equivalent figure for those buying in the 1970s is 39%, falling to 33% for first-time buyers in the 80s and 32% for those entering the housing market in the 1990s.

Aspirations for the size of home have increased while the percentage expecting to progress to a detached home with two to three bedrooms fell slightly from 13% in the 1980s to 12% for those buying since 2008.

The proportion of first-time buyers with expectations of a four or five bedroom house have risen from 19% to 22% over the same period.

The political debate about mansion taxes has not dissuaded people from thinking ownership of a very large home will be feasible for them – 3% of those buying their first home since 2008 expect to eventually own a home with six or more bedrooms, three times the proportion of those getting their first mortgage in the 1980s.

Both men and women are equally bullish in their belief that a detached home will be within their reach, but it's the younger generation who are most likely to feel this will be at the larger end of the market.

Some 7% of 18-24 year olds believe they will end up owning a detached home with six or more bedrooms.

The 1980s is remembered as the decade in which Margaret Thatcher's Government heavily promoted the benefits of home ownership.

However for a quarter (24%) of those buying in that decade a terraced home was the limit of their home owning ambitions.

Only 15% of those buying for the first time since 2008 believe their ultimate home will be a terraced one.

While people's aspirations have stretched beyond the terraces, over the same period the expectations for apartment living have almost doubled.

In the 1980s 6% of first-time buyers believed that a flat would be the pinnacle of their home ownership - a figure which has risen to 11% for those buying in the post 2008 housing market slump.

Although 37% of first-time buyers may feel they will achieve ownership of a detached home, detached properties only make up 17% of the housing stock.

Tom Stringer, head of AA Home Emergency Response, said: "New entrants to the market are more positive about their long term prospects than those entering in the last thirty years - something which could bode well for recovery in the market."

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