First-time buyers were forced to raise an extra £23,000 to buy their first home due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, according to research from Aldermore.
Over half (58%) of first-time buyers needed to raise a larger deposit than initially intended, due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
The average increase was an additional £22,849, bringing the deposit size up to £62,572 (an average of 18.6% of the property value). It took first-time buyers who bought since the beginning of the pandemic an average of nearly five years (4.6 years) to save up enough.
The process of buying has also become more complicated during the 18 month period after the pandemic began with delays and false starts increasing the challenges and expense.
Even having an offer accepted took multiple attempts for many; two in five (40%) took two or more offers to secure the home they bought stretching out the process and raising costs.
And prior to that, half (49%) were in the process of buying a different property only to have it fall through. This cost new buyers an average of £2,403, with one in nine (12%) spending £4,000 or more.
Increased challenges and delays meant first time buyers say they were delayed by an average of 3 months, with one in six (16%) being delayed by over five months or more.
These extra barriers and costs meant that nearly half (48%) felt they did not get the home they wanted because they had to compromise so much to get on the housing ladder.
Meanwhile, the financial impact forced over half (52%) to leave their house empty for a few months because they were unable to afford furniture immediately. The stress of the house buying process also affected people’s personal lives, with nearly half (46%) saying that the process caused issues in their relationship.
Jon Cooper, head of mortgage distribution at Aldermore said: “Becoming a homeowner is a wonderful step forward in a person’s life but our research shows the persistent effects of the pandemic are causing high levels of financial challenges in the journey.
“While costs and complicated processes may feel daunting, we’ve found first-time buyers are glad they did it, with 78% saying the stress was worth it to find a home. I would advise would-be buyers to plan carefully to ensure they are prepared for the range of costs involved and to seek a broker who can be a great help in cutting through the jargon and guiding you through the process.”