The news has long been full of the woes of the first-time buyer, but they are not the only ones who are being thwarted in their dreams of homeownership. Indeed, over four million young homeowners are currently stuck in their first property despite wishing to take the next step up the property ladder, with little hope of moving in the next two years.
Stuck on the first rung
According to research by Santander Mortgages, 68% of homeowners aged 18-34 are still in their first property, and of those who would like to move on in the next 24 months, over two-thirds admitted that it was likely to be an unrealistic dream.
When choosing their first home, just half of respondents (50%) thought that they would live there for more than five years. As a result, 89% of those questioned said that they had compromised on their first property in order to get onto the ladder. Almost two-thirds (63%) stated that they had compromised on the location of their property, while 55% compromised on the size. Another 47% settled for fewer bedrooms while 53% bought a home with less outdoor space. A further 54% also said that they had compromised on the style of the property.
However, 59% of respondents have ended up living in their first property for more than five years, so thanks to these compromises and the expectation that they would soon be able to move into a larger, more desirable property, many young homeowners have become increasingly frustrated at their inability to move – in other words, they have become frustrated middle movers.
But why are so many young homeowners unable to make the leap up? Well, the main barrier identified was current house prices, with 63% of respondents stating that they needed property prices to increase in order to move on. Another 51% said that they needed to fund home improvements first in order to increase the value of their home.
Fears about the economy and their own personal financial situation were also held up as major obstacles to buying that dream home. Over half (53%) said that their worries about the economy made them unwilling to put themselves back on the property market, while another 38% cited fears about the stability of their or their partner's job.
As with first-time buyers, getting together a big enough deposit was also listed as a big impediment, with 58% of those questioned saying that they needed to save more in order to fund their move.
The imbalance of supply and demand in the housing market is also viewed as an obstacle by this demographic, with 28% blaming a lack of suitable properties.
How to realise your dreams
If this all sounds very familiar, then it is likely that you are a member of the frustrated middle movers. But don't despair! Although these barriers can make it harder for you to move onto your next property, there are still things you can do to achieve your dream.
Chief among these is getting together that deposit. Saving enough to get a deposit can be tough, but if you managed once before, you can do it again! Take a long look at your budget and see if there is anywhere that savings can be made. Cutting out those takeaway coffees can really add up!
Once you have started to notice a little excess building up in your account, it's time to start shifting it into a decent savings account. A fixed rate account will often offer the best rates, and because you are saving for something specific, locking away your money will help you to keep your saving on track. You can check out the best fixed rate accounts currently on the market by looking at our best buys.
The market is also full of good mortgage deals at the moment, particularly if you want to lock into a fixed rate. The prices of fixed rate mortgages have been falling recently, so now is the perfect moment to change your mortgage deal to save a few pennies or to finance your new purchase. Check out our best fixed rate mortgage deals to find the right one for you.
So, if you are desperate to move out of your starter home and into a new property, start gathering up your savings and hunting the market – you may soon find you can afford your dream move.
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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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