Half (49%) of first-time buyers (FTBs) have previously started the process of buying a property, only for it to fall through, losing them an average of £2,912, according to Aldermore Bank.
This has equated to a total of £406.6m lost in the 12-month period from April 2020 to March 2021, with 50% saying this was due to lockdown.
Prospective first-time buyers have had to delay their home buying plans by an average of 8.4 months due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
First-time buyers say the most costly expenses incurred include solicitor fees (£1,229), mortgage fees (£1,086) and conveyancing or valuation fees (£1,020); other costs include rent paid due to delays in moving in (£989), estate agent fees (£988) and moving fees (£910).
Overall, first-time buyers that bought between March 2020 and March 2021 have experienced on average two months in delays and incurred an extra £5,870 in costs due to COVID-19.
Over two-thirds (70%) say they spent more money than intended on their house purchase.
These additional costs set first time buyers back a total of £1.67bn between April 2020 and March 2021.
Despite setbacks and delays, 85% of prospective buyers said that owning a home is an important life goal.
Over three in five (63%) first time buyers are more motivated to buy, but 67% are reconsidering the type of property they want to purchase due to COVID-19, with 66% prioritising having a garden or balcony, and 63% wanting to be near the countryside or parks.
New buyers also said proximity to loved ones (62%) is an important consideration, in addition to having home office space (63%) and good wi-fi connection (67%).
Jon Cooper, head of mortgage distribution at Aldermore, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has motivated a great number of people to buy their first home.
“It is important, alongside raising a deposit, to identify and factor in any additional costs, such as solicitor, valuation and estate agent fees, as well as moving costs, all of which can add up.
“Seeking advice from a financial adviser or broker will help greatly in making the process less confusing.
“Although buying a house has its challenges, the reward can be great, illustrated by the large number of first time buyers (84%) who said the stress was worth it and that becoming a home owner has been extremely rewarding.
“Successive lockdowns over the past year have made us all re-evaluate how we live our lives, and what we need from our homes.
“It is no longer just a place to live, but a place of work, and where we exercise, educate our kids, and socialise.
“As a result, the data shows a dramatic change in preference in the types of properties new buyers are looking for.”