A new survey by online mortgage broker Trussle has revealed that almost two thirds (65%) of first-time buyers feel it is ‘impossible’ to get onto the property ladder, with 62% opting to save for another year or more.
The survey of 2,000 first-time buyers also revealed that 72% were in a position to look for a home within the next two years, but 44% of respondents felt confused by the changing deposit requirements and lender criteria.
The research suggests that over half of first-time buyers take over five years to save for a deposit.
Over three quarters (76%) of first-time buyers feel worried, confused and angered at how COVID-19 has affected their home ownership aspirations.
However, the feeling is not the same in every area of the country, with first-time buyers in the North East finding it easier to get on the property ladder than those in the South.
While this is likely due to lower house prices, the varied cost of living regionally also has an impact.
The research showed that 71% of Liverpool’s first-time buyers have managed to save enough for a deposit without help from their family or loved ones, whereas 42% of Bristol’s first-time buyers have had to rely on the Bank of Mum and Dad.
Miles Robinson, head of mortgages at Trussle, said: “While it’s encouraging to see the property market remaining open for business with viewings and valuations remaining in place during the second lockdown, it’s disappointing that first-time buyers are struggling to navigate the market.
“One option for first-time buyers is to adapt expectations when it comes to location, exploring more affordable areas and seeing the working from home option as a long term alternative.
“However, the onus cannot continue to sit purely on the first-time buyer and their transactional power cannot remain untapped as we head into an uncertain 2021.
“The financial impact of the pandemic has meant that lenders are pulling a number of high LTV mortgages.
“As of this week, there are only 74 mortgage deals available for mortgage applicants with a LTV over 90%.
“By comparison, this time last year there were over 2,000.
“While lenders are right to be cautious given the economic climate, any sustainable recovery for the property market will need to see activity amongst first-time buyers.
“And, the demand is there.”
This survey comes following Trussle’s launch of a deposit map that can be used to see what options may be available for the deposit they have managed to save.
Robinson continued: “At Trussle, we’ve seen enquiries from first-time buyers grow by approximately 230% compared to this time last year.
“We’d like to see lenders beginning to reintroduce higher LTV products that will help first-time buyers.
“In the meantime, we hope this map will help first-time buyers to quantify the areas worth considering.”