Alliance & Leicester index suggests Brits in their twenties are ready to plunge into property

Amanda Jarvis

November 16, 2004

Alliance & Leicester’s latest findings show that one in five (20%) people aged 20 to 29 are still hoping to buy a property within the next two years, this is the highest for any age group. The average first time buyer is currently aged 34. These findings highlight that the next generation of first time buyers hoping to get their foot on the housing ladder is likely to be much younger.

Whilst those in their 20s are the most optimistic, those in their 30s are the next most optimistic, with 17% intending to buy within the next two years. Older homebuyers are less confident with only 6% in their 50s and 2% in their 60s planning to move within the next two years.

Overall demand remains stable, with 10% of people saying they plan to move in the next two years, only 1% less than last quarter. Of those planning to move – just under half (4%) are planning to do so in the next 12 months with the remainder (6%) wanting to move within two years.

Paul Cooper, Head of Mortgages at Alliance & Leicester, said: “It is encouraging to see that the housing market can expect some new blood within the next two years.

Paul Cooper continues: “Most commentators believe that interest rates have peaked, with the base rate levelling out and slowly falling in the next few years, so first time buyers can look forward to even more competitively priced mortgages. This is encouraging and I look forward to some new verve in the housing market.”

“However, it's important that anyone wanting to buy a home, whatever their situation, seeks reputable advice, and looks for a mortgage that allows them to join the property market whilst borrowing within their means. The new mortgage regulation rules should allow for the process to be clearer for consumers. Alliance & Leicester will always endeavour to inform and advise their customers thoroughly.”

Key findings:
* Homebuyers are still cautious with overall intentions to move in the next two years dropping from 12% this time last year to 10% this quarter. This could be the result of the five base rate rises since November 2003.

* People in the North, East Anglia and London are the most likely to be planning a move within the next two years, at 14%, 13% and 12% respectively.

* As in previous cycles, men are more likely to be buying a home in the near future than women – 12% of men compared with 9% of women.

Reasons for moving:
* The need for more bedrooms is also the main reason for women, married people and Londoners. Over a fifth (23%) of women, nearly one in three (29%) of married people and 40% of Londoners wanted to move for this reason.

* Nearly one in five (17%) recognised that buying can be cheaper than renting.

* Overall, over one in five people (21%) cite the need for independence/wanting their own place as their top reason for moving.

* Independence was also the main reason to move for men, single people and the Welsh. A quarter of men (25%), nearly half (44%) of single people and over a third (35%) of the Welsh wanted to move for this reason.

* Overall, one in five people (20%) wanted to upgrade their homes and cite wanting more bedrooms as their top reason to move.

* Overall, 12% of homeowners want to move to make money on their property. This is a slight increase compared to autumn last year when 11% of people wanted to move for this reason. With house prices up by more than 10% in 2004 alone, property investors still seem positive about making money on their houses.

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