Brexit delay causes nearly half of first-time buyers to change their plans

Michael Lloyd

July 31, 2019

The delay to Brexit has caused almost half (47%) of first-time buyers to change their plans, with a quarter (24%) delaying purchasing a property, specialist bank Aldermore has found.

Some 16% have delayed by 12 months or more. Furthermore, over a fifth (22%) of prospective first-time buyers have brought their plans forward, with one in 10 (10%) doing so by up to three months and 12% by six months or more.

Damian Thompson, director of mortgages at Aldermore, said: “Owning a home is a long-term investment that’s likely to outlive current short-term political ambiguity and economic conditions; even if they may cause frustrating delays or changes to house buying plans.

“There will always be economic ebb and flow and, within that, temporary periods of uncertainty in a housing market that is ultimately cyclical in nature.

“Our survey shows this has not dampened prospective first-time buyers’ appetite for home-ownership with 81% saying it is a dream to own a home and similarly 81% see property as a good investment.”

The lengthy Brexit negotiation process has hit first-time buyers living in the capital most substantially, with over three fifths (63%) of those trying to get on the property ladder changing their homebuying plans as a result of the uncertainty.

Moreover, career choice is also an important factor. People in the UK who are their own boss have had their plans disrupted more.

Over half (56%) of self-employed first-time buyers need to make changes to their timeline for buying, followed by those who are employed full-time (50%).

Prospective first-time buyers were also asked how they could be helped more by the government to get on the housing ladder.

Some 21% of first-time buyers want the Help to Buy scheme to be extended to all properties, not just new build, to them get onto the property ladder.

In addition, 19% would like an introduction of a Rent to Buy scheme, and 18% would like the introduction of policies to reduce the number of empty homes in the UK.

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