Single homebuyers have to find an extra £24,000 to afford their first property, the latest data from Move with Us, the UK’s largest network of independent estate agents has revealed.
Results from a survey of 175 estate agents across Britain demonstrated that couples aged between 21 and 40 are the most popular type of buyer, making up 45% of the current buying market. This was followed by families in second place (29%) and couples aged between 41 and 65 in third place (20%). Categories for single people in any age group came bottom of the list, making up a total of 2.8% of buyers.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the average wage in Britain is £26,500. The most any potential home owner can borrow for a mortgage is four and a half times their annual wage. Based on the average wage in Britain of £26,500, the most a typical singleton can borrow is £119,250. With the average national price of a flat – a typical property for a first time buyer – currently at £158,872 with a 10% deposit, this leaves a £23,735 (15%) shortfall.
Robin King, Director at Move with Us commented: “Average wages in Britain have increased 1.6% in the last year according to the ONS, compared with a 5.4% increase in the price of a flat. If property prices increase at a higher rate than wages, then of course, affordability is reduced.”
“Bearing this in mind, it’s no real surprise that the first-time buyer market has changed over the last few years. Being priced out of the market means that many so called ‘singletons’ are choosing to stay at home or rent for longer.”
“Many potential homeowners are reliant on the bank of mum and dad to make up the deficit. More of an effort should be placed on creating affordable housing. Shared ownership is a feasible government incentive that people who are struggling to afford a home should give serious consideration. Both new builds and older properties are available with shared ownership which allows owners to rent part and buy part of a property. Home owners can always buy more shares of the property later on.”