FTB numbers rise over the year

Sarah Davidson

September 3, 2012

While the proportion of intending first-time buyers remains disappointingly shy of the 40% level typically seen before the credit-crunch, Rightmove’s research does highlight that in the new property market landscape it is appears that a university education is the most common denominator in getting onto the housing ladder.

Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove, said: “First-time buyers continue to be something of a rare breed in today’s market but our analysis reveals that higher education is currently the statistically most likely route to satisfying the homeownership dream.

“Those school-leavers who are set to embark on a university education this autumn will be encouraged by the fact that further qualifications seem to be an important qualifying factor in getting onto the housing ladder.”

Seven in 10 intending first-time buyers are graduates

Nearly seven out of 10 (69%) of those who expect to buy in the next 12 months are graduates, educated to either graduate degree (39%) or post-graduate degree (30%) level, or equivalent.

Despite the length of time spent studying – not to mention the associated costs of university level education – those educated to graduate degree level appear able to contemplate getting a foot on the property ladder sooner.

The average age of a graduate prospective first-time buyer is 30, compared with an average age of 32 for a school-leaver.

The average age for a post-graduate intending to buy for the first time is 33, though this is naturally skewed by the length of time studying, particularly for doctorate-level qualifications.

Shipside said: “In today’s market, getting a degree under your belt is a common prerequisite among the constrained numbers who make it onto the housing ladder.

“Studying for a degree also seems to increase the chances of buying sooner. Joining the world of work straight from school may start your earning career a few years earlier, but in the current housing market it seems the downside is that it may delay being able to satisfy your home-ownership aspirations.”

The average deposit for a graduate or post-graduate first-time buyer is around £35,000 compared to £25,000 for non-grads.

With lenders demanding higher deposits to get a mortgage, and lower loan-to-value advances attracting lower interest rates, this puts grad first-time buyers’ in a better financial position.

Shipside said: “With the bulk of those still living with parents being grads one benefit of a few more years in the family home could be a larger deposit.

“This perhaps helps their final jettison from the bosom of the family home.”

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